CEO Update Uncategorised

Regulation has become a dirty word in some political circles – its reputation is unwarranted

13 April 2018 #CEO Update #Uncategorised


When SMMT set out its Brexit priorities, the need for regulatory alignment was one of the five main pillars. Regulation has become a dirty word in some political circles – its reputation is unwarranted. The rules around manufacturing and running a vehicle are strict. Passenger safety in particular is at the heart of what vehicle manufacturers do, and our members are continually working to improve the safety of all road users.

Moreover, alignment with EU emissions regulations will ensure investment into cleaner technology is not wasted adapting to multiple sets of rules. EU-wide data rules will help protect consumers across the globe, while agreed rules around intellectual property protect businesses that invest in the future. A report from the CBI published earlier this week found that the cost of regulatory divergence would be both complex and hugely costly for businesses. Our industry would agree.

Alignment means that cars, commercial vehicles, engines and parts made anywhere in the EU can be sold right across the continent. Along with free and frictionless trading arrangements, it means that our integrated supply chain can continue to function, allowing productive plants in the UK and across Europe to compete with countries where capital and labour costs might be lower. The sheer number of models and options available to UK customers is also derived from our single market and customs union arrangements. EU-wide validity of vehicle type approvals issued in the UK and vice versa ensure the costs for manufacturers of bringing a new model to market in this country are not prohibitive – maintaining their validity is a priority for automotive in these negotiations.

We must, of course, value our trading partners right across the globe if we are to continue exporting our products and expertise in automotive, particularly in the latest technologies. SMMT’s international programme will again feature a visit to the Electric Vehicle Show (EVS) in Kobe, Japan this October, to take in the world’s largest event dedicated to zero emission mobility and logistics. Exhibitors wishing to join the SMMT UK pavilion can now register online here.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive

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