SMMT confirms guest speaker for 94th Annual Dinner

08 October 2010 #SMMT News

Renowned journalist and presenter, John Humphrys, has been announced as the guest speaker at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) prestigious Annual Dinner on 23 November. The industry’s 94th annual event, which brings together executives from across the UK’s automotive sector, will mark the close of a particularly economically challenging year.

Supported by Lombard and held at the London Hilton, Park Lane, the evening’s guests will be addressed by SMMT’s president, Joe Greenwell and chief executive, Paul Everitt.
“This is a challenging and exciting time for the UK automotive industry. The new government has indicated the importance of the sector in re-balancing the economy, taking a lead on low carbon and helping to deliver skills and training. There is a lot going on and the SMMT Annual Dinner provides a great opportunity to come together with friends and colleagues from across the industry,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.  “I am particularly delighted that John Humphrys will be joining us. His experience, intellect and wit make him a compelling guest speaker.”
As anchor on the Today programme, John Humphrys is one of the most distinctive and best-loved voices on radio. He also presents ‘On The Ropes’, and long-running quiz ‘Mastermind’.  Unusually for a journalist, he has been described as a national treasure.  John set up bureaux in South Africa and the US, covering Nixon’s resignation and the birth of Zimbabwe.  He went on to present the Nine O’Clock News and the flagship political discussion ‘On The Record’ and became a controversial figure when he was attacked for his style of interviewing by Jonathan Aitken, who was then a cabinet minister.
The event will also create an opportunity to celebrate British talent. The winner of SMMT’s ‘2010 Automotive Innovation Award’will be announced, supported by sponsoring partners GKN Driveline and The Mail on Sunday’s Live Magazine. The award was launched to encourage the creation and development of new innovative products, technologies and ideas that could change the face of the UK automotive industry, as well as to recognise existing products which have already contributed to automotive excellence.
Also to be announced on the night will be the winner of the ‘2010 Next Generation Award’. Launched last year to high industry acclaim, the award, open to undergraduates from any British university, is run collaboratively by Autocar and Courland Automotive Practice.  The award aims to identify and inspire the automotive industry leaders of tomorrow and assist them with their careers.
The winner will have provided a plausible written answer to a tough industry-related question and survived an interview by a panel of industry experts. The winner will receive a £7,500 cash prize and an extensive programme of work experience provided by the award’s blue-chip sponsors: Honda UK, the Marshall Motor Group, Mercedes-Benz Retail, Peugeot and Toyota GB.
Tickets are currently on sale for the SMMT Annual Dinner and can be purchased by contacting Relish Events on 0808 178 8818 or by e-mailing

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