CEO Update Uncategorised

The UK’s pink car capital is… Leicester

20 April 2018 #CEO Update #Uncategorised

SMMT’s publication of the latest Motorparc data provided some detailed insights into the vehicles on our roads and who is driving them. There are now 11.5 million superminis and 3.5 million dual purpose vehicles on the road; automatic gearboxes have increased by 70% in just a decade; and female car ownership is up by a fifth. Other interesting aspects abound, such as the fact that many of the best selling cars from the 80s are still going strong, including more than 2,000 Ford Sierras and 500 Vauxhall Cavaliers. And, if you ever wanted to know, Leicester is the pink car capital of the UK.

On fuel type, Birmingham leads the way on plug-in penetration, with 8.7% of all the nation’s plug-ins belonging to those in the Midlands. Despite rapidly growing demand for alternatively fuelled models, however, they still make up less than 1.5% of the total parc. Given the rate of fleet renewal, this is unsurprising, but it makes clear the journey to an ultra low carbon future will take time and internal combustion engines will play an important role for some time.

There is no mystery as to how we get more alternatively fuelled vehicles on the road – incentives and infrastructure work. Overcoming cost and recharging concerns continue to be the issues consumers need to overcome if they are to buy into EV and AFV usage – along with continued investment from automotive into the right technologies, such as rapid charging and battery performance. Collaboration between government and industry will be central to realising our shared ambition of a low emission future but, critically for the UK, such collaboration should help provide a platform for future investment in improved technologies, technologies we all want to see on UK roads.

The Route to 2040 – and government’s proposed end to the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars – is just one topic we will discuss with an expert panel at the SMMT International Automotive Summit in June. Inevitably, the political challenge of Brexit will also be addressed, but there’s plenty more to explore, as our expert panels discuss future border logistics and how the UK can best secure investment and strengthen trade relationships around the world. I encourage you to join the discussion. Please find more details at

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive

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