In this episode of the Autofocus Podcast, we are with Mark Carson, Customer Service and Quality Director at Renault Middle East. With over 30 years of experience in the industry, 20 of them at Renault and 13 of them in and around electric mobility, Mark brings the perspective of someone who has been at the forefront of shaping what we consider present and future mobility. In his current role, Mark is responsible for Renault’s Customer Experience Program, the customer experience performance delivered by the Dealer Network, and all things Electric Vehicles: Awareness, After-Sales, and Product Compliance.

In the episode, Mark took us on a journey of electrification and electrification in the region. Highlights include how in 2007 Renault went directly into fully electric vehicles, a bold move that skipped the hybrid-trend, how in 2012 the iconic Twizy began appearing in the region even though it wasn’t supposed to be available here, and how in 2014 the EV market in Jordan got a massive kickstart.

Mark goes on to what we can expect from Renault in the near future and the brand current EV strategy. Hinting at the release of a larger EV in the distant future. In line with demand, Mark confirms plans for a hybrid vehicle in the next 3-4 years. Moving on to CASE, Mark shares where he sees the most progress and opportunity in the region might look like. We look at the current capabilities of connectivity and the impact it has had and will have on vehicle safety.

When looking at autonomous, we explore current successful case studies that have taken place in restricted spaces; Mark believes that we are still years away from autonomous vehicles and outlines the reasons, such as the infrastructure required (such as 5G) to support the 3D modelling required for autonomous driving. He does, however, allude to the potential of autonomous vehicles in the region and the potential the Expo 2020 has to highlight these ‘realities of tomorrow’.

"Raising awareness is the most important thing for electric vehicles to succeed." – Mark Carson, Customer Service and Quality Director at Renault Middle East

Going from 5 showroom visits before purchase, just 5-10 years ago, to now 1.3, Mark shares how this impacts the sales process and shares the advice he’d give to someone entering the industry today.

Finally, we speak on what we should be doing, as an industry, to promote sustainable energy and mobility. We wrap up looking at the new partnerships that are forming, the importance of them and what benefits the dealer/importer network stands to gain as a result.