Motor industry welcomes new partnership with government

16 May 2002 #SMMT News

  • 12 month review leads to change at DTI
  • Direct funding for specific projects
  • Joint approach to develop industry

Twelve months ago the motor industry and government began a

project to identify the best way of working together to ensure a strong future

for the automotive sector. Today, senior figures in the motor industry met to

discuss the outcome with the Prime Minister at Number 10 Downing Street.

Nick Reilly CBE, SMMT President and Chairman of Vauxhall Motors,

commented on the results:

‘The whole industry welcomes this most positive outcome from

a year of dialogue as all parties worked to ensure a strong and vibrant automotive

sector continues to develop in the UK.

‘Practical outcomes are needed to address real world challenges

and the re-focusing of the Automotive Unit at the DTI shows that the government

has taken on board the needs of the industry.

‘The planned development of an Automotive Academy, support

for Supply Chain Groups and the establishment of two Centres of Automotive Excellence

in the UK are tangible results of the excellent work led by Sir Ian Gibson CBE

and the Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (AIGT).

‘This pioneering approach in the automotive sector is now being

considered as a model for other industries and I would urge them to grasp the

opportunity with both hands and engage with government to secure a stronger


Key recommendations of the report from the AIGT include:

  • The establishment of an Automotive Academy to take the lead

    in process improvement activities across the automotive sector
  • Increased funding for Supply Chain Groups allowing them

    to work across regional boundaries. Supply Chain Groups provide expert support

    for firms involved in the production of a particular component to help them

    work together to improve efficiency.
  • Setting up a pilot mobility services project in London

    and another city with the aims of accelerating the adoption of low pollution

    vehicles and demonstrating new approaches to providing mobility.
  • The establishment of Centres of Automotive Excellence to

    take forward work in the key areas of Low Carbon and Fuel Cell technologies,

    Transport Telematics and Technologies for Sustainable Mobility.


Notes to Editors

  1. The Automotive Innovation and Growth Team was made up of

    representatives from the automotive industry including the supply chain, senior

    officials from government, academics and other industry stakeholders. Sir

    Ian Gibson, CBE was President of SMMT from 1999-2000 and was asked to chair

    the AIGT by the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.
  2. Since the last meeting with the Prime Minister at Number

    10 Downing Street, the motor industry has worked closely with government.

    This has delivered a number of key benefits including the establishment of

    a Memorandum of Understanding between key departments on the handling of regulations

    that impact on the sector. It sets out best practice and responsibilities

    on DTI, DTLR and DEFRA to ensure that the sector’s well-being is taken into

    account in determining the policy positions on all relevant legislation.
  3. The automotive sector is now recognised by government as

    ground-breaking in its approach to the future with a number of pioneering

    initiatives including development of the Sustainability Strategy, voluntary

    commitment to a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, the SMMT Industry Forum

    partnership with DTI and the pedestrian protection negotiated agreement.
  4. Full details of the announcement can be found at

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