CEO Update

Time for long-term strategy to meet industry ambitions

13 December 2019 #CEO Update

After a roller coaster election campaign, the results have been counted and we have a new government. We congratulate the Conservatives on their election success and look forward to working with the new government at this critical time for the automotive industry and the country.

The priority must now be to restore business and economic confidence and re-establish the UK’s reputation as a great place to invest. The agenda remains much the same, which means working to secure a future relationship with the European Union that helps UK Automotive maintain its globally competitive position. When automotive succeeds so does Britain.

We remain optimistic about the future of this sector as the fundamentals are strong; our expertise in building high-tech, premium products, the sophisticated supply network and our strength in developing the latest powertrains and autonomous technologies demonstrate that we have the foundations to build a new British success story.

We want to be leaders in the technological revolution that is reshaping our industry, producing ever cleaner, cutting-edge vehicles that are driven throughout the world and which are the embodiment of the quality, ingenuity and innovation that sits at the heart of UK automotive manufacturing.

This industry is massively important to the economy, contributing £18.6 billion to the national purse, employing hundreds of thousands of people and making the most significant contribution to UK trade of any manufacturing sector, helping balance the economy nationwide.

Beyond Brexit, key challenges remain. The environment has been high on the agenda in recent weeks, and we are key players in the consensus around meeting the country’s ambitious targets. The automotive sector has a critical part to play in contributing to emissions reduction, but it will be a collaborative effort. We need a technology neutral approach that encourages innovation, matched with long-term funding and incentives that encourage the uptake of ultra low and zero emission vehicles.

SMMT launched its key priorities for UK Automotive at our recent Annual Dinner, which sets out the current state of affairs and outlines what’s needed to ensure that the sector continues to thrive. Without a clear vision from the top we run the risk of being left behind.

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