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Automotive sector accelerates towards SMMT’s 101st Annual Dinner

16 November 2017 #Event News #SMMT News
  • SMMT President Tony Walker to set out future challenges and opportunities for sector at 101st Annual Dinner.
  • Comedian and actor Bill Bailey joins the event as celebrity guest speaker.
  • 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 101st anniversary on 28 November 2017.

More than 1,000 guests from across the sector, government and media will attend the exclusive event at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. SMMT President, Tony Walker, Deputy Managing Director of Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK and Managing Director of Toyota Motor Europe London Office, will make a keynote address at the dinner and is expected to celebrate the industry’s recent successes as well as outline the key issues the sector faces; from Brexit to emissions.

The SMMT is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK and represents some 800 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’s Annual Dinner will see award-winning comedian and actor Bill Bailey entertain dinner guests as celebrity guest speaker. Bill has received a British Comedy Award for Best Live Stand-up and has also starred in the sitcoms Black Books and Spaced, and in the films Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang; Burke and Hare; and Hot Fuzz. Well known for his former role as a team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks, Bill’s other TV credits include Monster Night and Is It Bill Bailey? as well as numerous spots on Have I Got News For You. He is a frequent guest contributor on QI and various radio panel shows, and presented the nature programme Wild Thing I Love You.

Detroit-based MSX International (MSXI) returns as the Annual Dinner’s headline sponsor. Working across 80 countries, including the UK, with more than 6,000 employees, MSXI is a business process outsourcing company providing technology-based services. 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 the event include: Arlington Automotive; Automechanika Birmingham; Auto Trader; Direct Line; GKN; Halfords; Pektron; Snap-on and Toyota.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

The SMMT Annual Dinner is a celebration of the automotive industry, receiving immense support from across the sector and beyond, every year. It’s great to be able to bring the industry together to commend all that has been achieved in the past year and to look to the future of one of the UK’s most successful sectors.

At the event, the winner of the Autocar-Courland Next Generation Award will also be announced. 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 award offers young innovators the chance to kick-start a career in automotive, with many finalists now working in the industry.

To book one of the last remaining places at the 101st SMMT Annual Dinner visit www.smmt.co.uk/events/annualdinner.

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