Press conference at SMMT follows landmark ACEA visit to London

09 June 2011 #SMMT News

The European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) has rounded off its landmark visit to London with a press conference held at SMMT in London, led by Dr Dieter Zetsche, ACEA President and Chairman, Daimler AG.

The Board of Directors of ACEA, the industry’s European trade association, had meetings with Prime Minister David Cameron and Business Secretary Vince Cable, among others, in connection with the association’s Annual General Assembly taking place in London this year.

The two-day visit commenced with a reception and dinner at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) with government representatives, during which Vince Cable highlighted the profile and importance of the automotive industry in the UK.

Mr Cable said the ACEA meeting demonstrated “the growing international recognition of our automotive industry and the interest in our national ambition to generate growth in the whole advanced manufacturing sector”.

On Thursday morning, ACEA Directors then met with the Prime Minister as he hosted a breakfast meeting at Downing Street to discuss a range of topics including international competitiveness, trade policy, environmental incentives and the contribution automotive makes to the economy.

The Prime Minister told ACEA Directors that it had been a “very good week” for the UK automotive industry, adding, “It’s very much part of our ambition as a government to rebalance our economy. We’ve been too reliant on financial services, too reliant on one part of the country. We want to see more manufacturing, and I’m delighted that so many automotive manufacturers are bringing production and supply chain onshore. We want to do everything we can to encourage that.”

The Board of Directors meeting took place later in the morning at SMMT’s offices, followed by a press conference with industry journalists from across Europe. The panel of speakers included Dr Dieter Zetsche; Ivan Hodac, ACEA Secretary-General and Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.

Dr Zetsche said, “We acknowledge the positive approach taken by the UK government towards automotive innovation”, adding, “It is first and foremost the responsibility of the automobile manufacturers to ensure competitiveness, and we pursue that goal head-on. But some issues are beyond our reach, whereas governments do play an important role.”

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The UK motor industry is globally competitive and an engine for economic growth. New investments demonstrate the commitment of international investors, safeguard thousands of jobs and open up opportunities for companies at all levels of the supply chain.

“Industry and government must continue to strengthen our partnership to maintain and increase investment in vital areas of R&D, skills and capital equipment.”

For more detail on the scale and significance of UK automotive, download the 2011 Motor Industry Facts publication.

Click the play button below to watch Dr Dieter Zetsche’s opening remarks at the press conference.

Filter News

Update Newsletter