CEO Update

‘No deal’ Brexit threat must be taken off the table immediately

18 January 2019 #CEO Update

Yet another week with lots of news coming out of Westminster, but a distinct and deeply concerning lack of progress on protecting our industry from the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit.

We’ve made it clear that time is rapidly running out and that all sides in parliament must put the necessary mechanisms in place to prevent a ‘no deal’ Brexit happening, working together to find alternatives that protect our future. Leaving the EU, our biggest and most important trading partner, without a deal and without a transition period to cushion the blow would put this sector and jobs at immediate risk.

We’re engaging with stakeholders on all sides, and once the prime minister comes back to the Commons with a new proposal we will work with members to identify the best and most practical option that delivers for the industry so that it can thrive in both the short- and long-term.

In other news this week, the Home Office announced a new vehicle theft taskforce chaired by policing minister Nick Hurd. SMMT was at the first meeting and we will support this initiative to help industry stay one step ahead of the criminal fraternity. It is important to put the rise in vehicle thefts into perspective, however, and acknowledge that numbers remain a fraction of levels seen in the 80s and 90s.

Manufacturers have invested billions in sophisticated security features and software updates but the problem needs to be tackled at the root. This means identifying the main methods by which vehicles are being stolen, focusing investment on any security vulnerabilities, deterring the criminal activity – which is often linked to organised crime – and halting the open sale of equipment which has no legitimate use, but is facilitating thefts of cars and vans. We look forward to working with the Home Office, police forces and other taskforce members on this important issue.

Finally, we were pleased to announce that Aston Martin Lagonda CEO, Dr Andy Palmer, will be joining Agustín Martín of Toyota Connected Europe as a keynote speaker at SMMT Connected 2019 on 4 April. Both companies have very exciting developments in the pipeline that will cement Europe’s place at the forefront of smart mobility and connected and autonomous vehicle development. Details of the event at the QEII Centre in London are available on our website and tickets can be bought now.

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