CEO Monthly Message
Dr Brett Dale
MTA Queensland’s core business is the motor vehicle industry and the associated trades. Now, our industry is on the cusp of exploding into an integrated dynamic of automotive, mobility and transportation driven by innovation services and new technologies coupled with demographic and socio-economic trends. Underpinning this integrated dynamic will be digital platforms that provide access to data, analysis and information for decision making. To a small extent this is happening, with ride share, vehicle sharing and bicycle sharing, smart infrastructure such as electronic road pricing, traffic sensors and the emergence of autonomous vehicles. This, however, is a mere blip on the radar - our thinking must expand to embrace the radical transformation of interconnected systems of how goods and people move, and services are delivered.
The centrepiece of the integrated dynamics is mobility. As a key-note speaker at the 2018 Myriad Festival on 16-18 May, this is the focus of my address: ‘We are at the dawn of a new era where more seamless and integrated mobility promises to be faster, cheaper, safer, cleaner and more convenient than ever. The automotive industry must embrace the digital economy and build business models capable of capitalising on the revolution of future mobility. Opportunities will be exclusive to those who build ‘excellent’ experiences into their mobility product or service. This is not simply about technology used to digitise and automate segments of traditional automotive business, but rather it is about getting closer to the consumer through data, insights and the evolution of ‘excellence’ in the customer experience.’
I’m convinced the Association can move into the ‘new era’ in the same way we’ve entrenched into our operations the concepts of innovation and digitisation - undoubtedly assisted by two Carmageddon symposiums.
A priority focus has been the Myriad Festival set down for 16-18 May at the Royal International Convention Centre, Fortitude Valley. We are a major Festival partner and reflecting this, the MTA Queensland Board will hold its quarterly meeting at the precinct. We are proud of our involvement in this prestigious event as it ensures continuum of the momentum generated at the Carmageddon symposiums. Participation in the Myriad Festival has permitted increased emphasis on the emerging technologies, innovation and digitisation which have the potential to benefit members’ businesses. I’d be overjoyed to see members interacting with exhibitors and speakers and particularly in the Garage inspecting the amazing innovations such as Micro-olli, Ohmnibots, NXG3N (Flying Car), QUT Drones, and AEIT (OLEV wireless charging electric bus, light rail / tram system).
If you’d prefer something cerebral, my keynote address is at noon on Friday 18 May – Stage B. This is followed by a panel discussing, ‘Are flying cars the way of the future?’. I’m the facilitator and the panel comprise Steven Baxter (Queensland’s Chief Entrepreneur), Professor Michael Milford (Queensland University of Technology) and Dr Kellie Nuttall (Deloitte Partner). Don’t miss it, it should be a lot of fun! If you are looking for us, we won’t be hard to find as we will be the ones with the identifiable commercial branding and distinctive attire. For more details, refer to the recent Weekly Industry Bulletins.
MUMBRELLA’S AUTOMOTIVE MARKETING SUMMIT
In February this year, Queensland University of Technology Professor Michael Milford interviewed me for a print/opinion piece entitled Driverless cars could create new jobs in a welcome boost to Australia’s motor industry. It received interstate and local media interest at the time. Interestingly, as a consequence of that, Mumbrella - a marketing event business - has invited me to be a speaker at its Mumbrella Automotive Marketing Summit. The session that I, and representatives from Mercedes Benz Vans and BMW, will speak at is entitled: Driving into the future: Marketing autonomous vehicles’. Pleasing is the recognition given to the MTA Queensland in the event's advertising.
MEETINGS WITH STAKEHOLDERS
Diverse stakeholders have been critical in shaping understanding of the automotive, mobility and transportation integrated dynamic. A fellow Myriad panellist, Deloitte’s Dr Kellie Nuttall – Consulting Decision Science and Analytics - shared views on the power of data, analysis and research particularly as it related to mobility and the transport sector. There will be follow on conversations with Kellie on data usage and its application to automotive, mobility and transportation.
Deriving from our innovation interests and the powering of automated vehicles, I met with two Brisbane-based Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) researchers, Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader Dr Michael Dolan and Research Scientist Dr David Viano, who outlined their research on membrane technology for hydrogen fuel cells. This project, now into its second year, intends to fill a gap in the global energy technology chain to supply fuel cell vehicles with low-emission hydrogen sourced from Australia. The CSIRO research concentrates on the commercial viability and safety of transporting hydrogen domestically and internationally. Toyota Australia is working with CSIRO and is ‘at the forefront of this research’.
QUEENSLAND ELECTRIC VEHICLE COUNCIL
The Queensland Government has released its electric vehicle strategy - The Future is Electric. It outlines measures that the State will implement to prepare for the transition to electric vehicles, including the establishment of the Queensland Electric Vehicle Council (QEVC). The Department and Main Roads Director General invited the MTA Queensland to become a member of the new Council which I accepted on behalf of the Association. It includes representatives from government, industry, and the community. One of the QEVC’s responsibilities includes the provision of advice and information to assist in the development of legislation, strategies, policies, planning guideline, standards, technology, schemes and supporting systems relevant to electric vehicle adoption. The first meeting is on 9 May.
The MTA Q&A section in Motor Trader e-magazine showcases the gender equality that is apparent in automotive enterprises - from owner/operators to the staff. There is gender diversity in the MTA Institute apprentice and training classes – a fine example being the selection of Sarah Gale of Rego’s Mobile Mechanical Services in Atherton as the MTA Queensland 2014 Apprentice of the Year. In the corporate office there is gender equality with a well-balanced executive. This, however, cannot be said about the MTA Queensland Board.
The participation in decision making at the Industry Division or District or Board levels from tradeswomen and owner/operators in the automotive value chain would be valued. Deputy Group CEO Kellie Dewar’s Viewpoint draws attention to the opening of nominations for positions to six industry committees and for one district representative (northern). I encourage our tradeswomen and owner/operators to offer their skills sets and nominate. As Kellie says, more details are in this Motor Trader edition.
AND THE LAST THING
I’m on the cusp of my third year as your Group CEO. Working together as a team, the strategic goals set by the MTA Queensland Board have been achieved and the Association’s reputation as the State’s peak industry body firmly entrenched. The challenges of digital disruption and technological transformations still exist but no longer daunt due to learnings from our two Carmageddon symposiums and engagements with academia. Innovation is embedded in our structure with the creation of the innovation hub -MTAiQ. Planning for the third year will see the Group build on the work of the past two years and reach out into the automotive, mobility and transportation horizon to advance the Association and advantage the membership.
Until June, as Henry Ford, the industrialist and the founder of the Ford motor company said, ‘execute ideas with enthusiasm . . . as it is the bottom of all progress’.
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