Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, spoke today at the SMMT International Automotive Summit to an audience of MDs, CEOs and automotive industry leaders.
He began by commending the UK workforce for weathering the economic storm and transforming the UK automotive industry to one of the most productive in Europe if not the world.
He drew attention to the £5.5bn investment committed to the UK in the last 18 months, many of which benefitted from government backing. This ‘business friendly approach’ was a theme for his address in which Dr Cable emphasised the importance of collaboratively supporting key industries.
The Automotive Council is a prime example of industry and government working together to achieve common goals. An area where this relationship is now being employed comes about as the automotive industry turns its attention to developing the domestic supply chain. This point was explained by Dr Cable, who said, “government has a role to play in helping the automotive industry get back its supply chain,” a supportive action that he pinned squarely on the Automotive Council.
Concluding his speech, the Business Secretary underlined the significance of the automotive sector to the country’s economy, emphasising that recovery is still ongoing, but ultimately congratulating the gathered industry leaders on recent progress that has been made. He ended saying, “We’re heading in the right direction, there’s really positive things happening, I want to applaud what you’re doing and I think it’s fantastic value for the country.”
The SMMT International Automotive Summit featured more than 40 speakers from automotive, academia, government, new technology, social media, retail, supply chain and the finance community. Leading figures from these sectors focused on the future potential of UK automotive, challenges to be addressed and how to capitalise on changing trends in technology and consumer preferences.
For a full list of investments made in UK automotive visit www.smmt.co.uk/investment.
Images and video of the keynote speakers are available at www.smmt.co.uk/summit.