How two local businesses are making electric car purchases easier
- Credit: Robert Mitchell
Marriott Motor Group has partnered with Insight Energy, a renewable energy specialist, to help people understand the practicalities of switching to electric cars from petrol or diesel.
With over 100 years of history in East Anglia, Marriott Motor Group represents leading brands such as Audi, Volkswagen, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Skoda and Renault – and recently launched a premium used car division. The company is currently led by managing director, Paul Barnard.
Insight Energy was founded by Kristian Day and specialises in EV charge point installations, solar panels and battery storage.
“We have lots of knowledge about the electric cars we can provide to customers, but that doesn’t necessarily help the customer understand if the transition from a combustion engine to an EV is right for them,” said Austin Seales, director of strategic development at Marriott Motor Group.
“Speaking with Kristian, and also from my own experience of having a home charger installed, it was obvious that we both recognised the opportunity and importance of educating our sales teams – and indeed our potential customers – whilst making it an easy and enjoyable experience.”
Anyone interested in purchasing an EV through Marriott Motor Group is introduced to Insight Energy in the first instance.
“Our first port of call is to refer them to Kristian so that he can explore their unique requirements and provide them with potential solutions based on what is most suitable for them,” said Austin. “If customers do decide to go ahead with an EV purchase, we work closely with Kristian and his team to ensure everything is in place for when the customer is ready to take delivery of their new car.”
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Insight Energy will also be recommended as a home or workplace charger installer once a customer has purchased an EV. However, the priority for both companies is ensuring the customer makes a decision that is right for them.
“We're just trying to give customers the best information to help them make an informed decision,” said Austin. “Hopefully they will then want to do business with us, and recommend us. If people that deal with us are happy to recommend us, then we can be confident we’re on the right track.”
Kristian added: “We are product agnostic which means we can choose from the whole market and ensure that each customer is matched with exactly what they need at home and / or work. Some want to charge their EV from their solar panels, some wish to link with a particular energy tariff, and some just want it nice and simple.”
While the partnership with Marriott Motor Group has connected Insight Energy with several customers across East Anglia, Kristian said there’s much more to it than sales.
“Having listened carefully to feedback from customers, we knew that there was a knowledge gap at the beginning of the journey, which lead us to working with Marriott,” he explained.
“In such a fast-paced market with changes at every turn, we knew that supporting the team across Marriott would help customers make informed and better decisions about EV ownership. We’ve always admired the ethos and values at Marriott, which made the partnership such a perfect fit.”
Kristian has visited every Marriott branch across East Anglia to educate and support the teams on the infrastructure required for EV charging and the different “starting points” of customers.
“In a nutshell, what we wanted to do is educate the teams across the group, so they've got a level of knowledge which allows them to have an appreciation for not just the ownership of an Audi or Volkswagen – but any EV,” said Austin.
“Obviously, from our point of view, it helps us to sell our fantastic range of products, but it also helps us to conduct business in a way that is absolutely right for each individual.”