Thatcham Research, the automotive research centre, has made a significant step change in its B2C communications with the appointment of James Smith to the newly created Head of Communications role.
An international marketing communications specialist, Smith brings with him a wealth of experience, most recently as Head of Connections at Twinings UK, but also including periods as Global Communications Director with consumer brands Carlsberg and Danone.
As such, he has spent several years based in mainland Europe, and been responsible for the coordination and management of integrated communications programmes and return on investment across multiple geographies for these high profile consumer brands.
The creation and appointment of a Head of Communications to lead the existing PR team is indicative of Thatcham’s desire to increase the focus onconsumer awareness of Safety and Security technologies that benefit the driver and reduce insurance costs.
“As automotive technology develops at pace, consumers are set to play an increasingly influential role in the journey towards the fully driverless car through their understanding of the benefits and acceptance of semi and fully autonomous driver assistance technologies,” said Thatcham CEO Peter Shaw.
“In developing our communication team and B2C strategy, our objectives are to further enlighten the motoring public about how technology can make driving safer and at the same time highlight the ethical investment the motor insurance industry makes in Thatcham’s not- for-profit research into vehicle safety and security.”
“We would like to welcome James to Thatcham and look forward to benefiting from his experience during this important next phase of our long term strategy,” added Shaw.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining Thatcham Research and I look forward to working with the motor insurance industry and vehicle manufacturers in building effective consumer communications programmes to educate and create acceptance around new vehicle safety and security technologies,” says Smith.
The Motor Insurance Repair Research Centre, or 'Thatcham Research' as it is widely known, was formed in 1969 by British insurers. Its main aim is to carry out research and testing to contain or reduce the cost of motor insurance claims, whilst maintaining safety standards.
Thatcham reviews every volume new car model entering the UK, risk rating it for the ABI’s Group Rating Panel and conducting an in-depth review of the new model’s repair information. As well as its world leading crash and track research, Thatcham tests and accredits crash repair parts, vehicle repair technicians and a number of other products and services within the collision repair industry for insurers, motor manufacturers, equipment manufacturers and suppliers.
A founder member of the international Research Council for Automobile Repairs (RCAR), Thatcham has also been a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) since 2004. The organisation has an established reputation as an automotive standard setter and a proven capability in delivering unique, high quality, ready to use and bespoke products and services to the automotive industry, on a global stage.