One of the main requirements we set ourselves when we began to explore how to relaunch the Hispano Suiza brand was to manufacture our cars here in Barcelona, thus remaining true to our principles. It was also a way of strengthening Spanish industry in general, showing that we are still at the forefront of the latest technology and that the talent of our engineers applied to the automotive sector should not be allowed to slip away.

Just a few days ago, in the report RESTART: 10 Post COVID-19 Trends (@Opinno), I read that one of the trends that’s going to shape the future of the economy, business and society will be the so-called “industrial patriotism”. In this sense, it will be key to strengthen research, own production and the protectionist approach to our own way of doing things, claiming the quality and authenticity that we have always shown to the world and that is increasingly highlighted.

Another of the trends identified in this report is that of promoting a broad concept of sustainability, in the awareness that health, especially now, will always be an integral part of our daily lives. We must therefore think about generating a comfortable value that makes products evolve, that they are economically viable and that the environment is fully respected.

 

The automotive sector as a reflection of change

The automotive industry currently represents approximately 10% of GDP and 9% of the active population, with Spain being the second largest manufacturer in Europe and the eighth largest in the world. The figures speak for themselves, revealing how much it contributes to our society and to industry in general (both in the R&D&I phase and in all post-production services, as well as points of sale, maintenance and components) and also everything it generates in other sectors, such as retail or tourism, which can benefit from the boost provided by the experiences that can be created around all these “made in Spain” products.

Right now we have a double opportunity: 1) that the public sector draws up a new plan to reactivate the entire industry, focusing investment on much more efficient and sustainable mobility, and 2) that the private sector continues to create value propositions so that we receive full support and reach the goal of being in a position where the industry deserves to be.

With the change in habits resulting from COVID-19, rethinking the way we get around is gaining even more momentum. Every kilometer we travel must have better connectivity and better performance, to better optimize our time.  The paradigm has already changed enough with the implementation of teleworking and the proof that we can continue to create, remain in touch with customers, suppliers and the team, without compromising close proximity to all of them.

Technology is going to be even more relevant, both in making it more sustainable and in giving us what we need to be more efficient in the way we organize ourselves. Even if we have to stay 1.5 meters away, or precisely because of this, whatever those around us design, produce and offer will have greater visibility and we will place a value on it that we had since stopped appreciating: local products will once again be much more recognized, and to the detriment of quantity, we will gain in quality.

In view of all these reflections, I wonder if we’re ready for what’s to come. My answer is yes, and what we must do is act, with everyone’s support and drive. In the history of humanity there have always been challenging times from which we have emerged, and I’m convinced that this one will be no exception.  When discussing the current global situation with the President of Hispano Suiza, @Miguel Suqué-Mateu, we looked back on how the original company survived and how it has shown that it has been reborn after overcoming a host of adverse situations. Today we all have to deal with this global pandemic, yes, but I’d like the wings of our stork to inspire and serve as an example of the possibility to take off again and soar.

 

Sergio Martínez Campos

CEO, Hispano Suiza