Anyone who has taken over as CEO of an automotive manufacturer in the past few years has done so knowing the sector is undergoing big changes. Exactly to what extent those changes might be is another matter because, let’s be honest, a few years ago we were still predicting the rise of the electric vehicle and autonomous cars were still only being talked about in research and development meetings. Today the electric vehicle (EV) is not only a reality, but as governments announce bans or restrictions on the internal combustion engine, the silent revolution of the EV is set to relegate traditional petrol and diesel engines to the back benches. So you can only imagine that when Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), was appointed in 2010, he probably thought his biggest task would be replacing the Defender. We spoke to him on a visit to SA and he clearly has a great deal on his plate, not least of which is changing his own perception on EVs. In 2015 he said customers were not keen ...

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