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Automotive sector gears up for SMMT’s 100th Annual Dinner as industry looks to the future

17 October 2016 #Event News #SMMT News
  • SMMT President Gareth Jones to set out future challenges and opportunities for sector at 100th Annual Dinner.
  • A collection of 100 year-old vehicles to be on display to mark the special anniversary.
  • Record attendance expected at key event in the automotive calendar.

One of the most highly anticipated events in the UK automotive industry calendar, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) Annual Dinner, will celebrate its 100th anniversary on 29 November 2016.

Around 1,200 guests from across the sector, government and media will attend the special event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. SMMT President Gareth Jones, Managing Director of Pritex Ltd, will make a keynote address at the dinner and is expected to celebrate the industry’s recent successes and outline the key issues as the sector faces myriad challenges from digitalisation to political uncertainty.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK and represents more than 700 companies across the entire automotive sector. In 1902, Frederick Simms, a British engineer, believed the motor industry needed a representative body to provide leadership, protection and direction, and on 22 July 1902 SMMT was created. An annual SMMT lunch became a fixture in the calendar, later changing to a dinner and was postponed only when the country was at war.

This year, to celebrate its 100th anniversary, a collection of special vehicles built more than 100 years ago will be on display at the event. The Simms 1900, believed to have been constructed by Frederick Simms himself, will be present at the venue thanks to the Royal Automobile Club. It will also be accompanied by a Ford Model T and a Renault Type C to greet guests as they arrive for the memorable evening. Comedian and TV personality Rob Brydon, well known for starring as Bryn in  the hugely popular television show Gavin and Stacey, will entertain guests as the after dinner speaker.

The news comes as SMMT announces the event’s headline sponsor, Detroit-based MSX International (MSXI). With more than 6,000 employees, MSXI is a business process outsourcing company providing technology-based services in the UK and to more than 80 other countries. Together with the Sewells Group, its wholly-owned subsidiary, MSXI is the world’s largest provider of retail solutions to automotive OEMs and their dealers.

Other sponsors supporting this special event include the Automechanika Birmingham trade show, which made its UK debut this summer, SMMT Industry Forum, GKN Driveline, Pritex Ltd, Pektron, Magal Engineering, Snap-On Business Solutions, Autocar Courland and Gowling WLG.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

The 100th Annual Dinner will be a memorable occasion and we’re delighted to have received such fantastic support from across the UK automotive sector and beyond. It is a fitting celebration to have a collection of 100 year-old vehicles at the event as we look back at past successes but also to the future of this vibrant and successful sector. I’d like to thank our headline sponsor, MSX International, as well as our other sponsors for their support, without which we would not be able to host an event of this calibre.

The winner of the Autocar Courland Next Generation Award will also be announced on the night. Launched in 2009, the award challenges young people aged between 17-25 to create a problem-solving idea, or innovation, to improve the UK automotive sector. The winner receives a £9,000 prize plus a six-month work experience placement shared between the award sponsors.

To book one of the last remaining places at the 100th SMMT Annual Dinner click here.

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