Renault, Toyota, BYD, General Motors, Seres and Los Coches Strengthen Commitment Towards Transition to Hybrid and Electric Vehicles

Breaking paradigms, establishing alliances with all those involved and betting on the Colombian and regional market were the key points highlighted by the automotive industry that participated in the “Latam Mobility: Colombia 2023“, held at the Orquideorama of the Botanical Garden of Medellin.

During the discussion on “The Colombian Automotive Sector’s Transition to Hybrid and Electric Vehicles,” Ariel Montenegro, President and CEO of Renault Sofasa, explained that the vision of the company he represents is to actively contribute to the energy transition.

Among the most important objectives are to seek a 25% reduction in emissions by 2025, 50% by 2030, carbon neutrality by 2040 in Europe and carbon neutrality throughout the value chain by 2050.

“These are ambitious goals, but we are on track, we already have more than 500,000 electric vehicles on the streets of Europe and in Colombia we are pioneers since 2015 and we have already accumulated 2,000 vehicles,” Montenegro detailed.

Presentation on Transition for the decarbonization of the automotive sector

News from General Motors

One of the major global manufacturers such as General Motors decided to bet heavily on the Colombian market and, in addition, to participate in the Latam Mobility: Colombia 2022. One year later, they highlight that it was the right decision and present the progress achieved.

Santiago Ángel, Government, Communications and CSR Director of General Motors Colombia, stressed the importance of entering the coffee-growing country, which he considers another important step to strengthen its operations in the region.

Among the goals set by the manufacturer are to be carbon neutral by 2040, not only with the sale of electric vehicles, but also in its internal processes. They also aim to sell only electrified cars by 2035.

He explained that one of General Motors‘ challenges is to strengthen its own battery platform so as not to depend on third parties, which they are seeking through the Ultium platform.

Confidence in the Country

Ricardo Salazar, General Manager of “Los Coches” invited in the “Latam Mobility: Colombia 2023” to leave aside the political debate and continue betting with investments and technologies to the energy transition in the automotive sector.

“This event reflects the importance with all attendees, what is happening in Medellin is very exciting and as entrepreneurs we have to trust Colombia, invest and put enthusiasm, we must impose and separate the economy from the political,” he emphasized.

He stressed that Los Coches will be celebrating 50 years in operation as a dealership, and the focus is the customer and their needs. “We want to give them multiplicity of options, we have been MG importers for 11 years and we have closely followed the transformation and energy transition, we are representatives of Renault, Volkswagen with a wide offer, we also work with Hyundai, Jeep, Dodge, Volvo as prominent brands.

Salazar also highlighted the importance of the ecosystem involved in electromobility, which is why he revealed that they work in alliance with the Wallbox charger company, which also had an important participation in the Colombia meeting.

Toyota at the Forefront

In its role as an iconic manufacturer, Toyota also showed off its technology and advances during the Latam Mobility Summit held in the city of Medellin.

Julio Ernesto Calderón, Government Relations Manager of Automotores Toyota Colombia, assured that the manufacturer wants to set an example to promote sustainable mobility.

Sustainability is a team sport and we cannot leave anyone behind. Over time we have worked with them, we are celebrating 56 years in Colombia and we are pleased that in May we were first in sales with our hybrid vehicles,” he said.

Calderón emphasized the importance of not discarding any technology on the road to the decarbonization of the automotive sector. “Our customers are recognizing that hybridization is a solution for the Colombian market. We bring cars with 100% ethanol and sugar cane, this is a historic challenge for the Colombian market and comes with the support of Brazilian technology.”

The Toyota executive highlighted the importance of achieving efficiency in the use of materials due to the scarcity of elements such as lithium, which is vital in the production chain.

China’s Experience

Nicolás Bedoya, Product and Training Manager at SERES and Subaru, was another of the outstanding panelists at “Latam Mobility: Colombia 2023“. He brought out the parchment of his organization as one of the large distributors on a global scale with representation of historical brands.

Seres is a Chinese company that brought a decade of advantages in the development of electric power. In 2003, produced elements for electric vehicles. It arrived in Colombia in 2022 with a vehicle designed for our market and it is the first step in the country”, he explained.

He detailed that they have a large portfolio in China, having the “Aito sf5” as a letter of credit in conjunction with Huawei, one of the best connected vehicles in the industry.

Bedoya revealed that Seres expects to impact the Colombian market soon with the arrival of several high-tech electrified cars.

BYD and Colombia

Continuing with the Chinese power and its presence in the coffee-growing country, Juan Luis Mesa, General Manager of BYD Colombia, highlighted that one of the keys for the manufacturer to position itself as one of the world leaders is the road it has traveled for almost 20 years.

“We were born manufacturing batteries. In 2006, we already had our first plug-in and marketable vehicle, and in March 2022, we were the first to close all its exclusive combustion plants and we only have hybrid and electric manufacturing,” he stressed.

We have grown in these segments and multiplied our vehicle production to more than two million. We are very determined and that has helped us to materialize our ideas, we are dreamers and we want our customers to lower their average temperature through our cars,” he explained.

Mesa pointed out that in Colombia they have also left a significant mark, first with the largest fleet of cabs outside China, and now they are setting the standard with public service with buses and cargo transportation. “We will continue to be protagonists in the change and we want you to join us,” he concluded.

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