CEO Update

Zero emission ambitions will need a cohesive transport strategy

21 February 2020 #CEO Update

A mixed performance this week, as the 2019 figures for the heavy goods vehicle and bus and coach markets were released. HGV registrations rose 12.6% in the year, while bus and coach performance dropped -18.8%, falling for a third consecutive year.

Both sectors are cyclical, affected by fluctuating fleet buying cycles and regulatory changes that also played a role in 2019. Getting low emission buses and HGVs on to our roads will be a key part of meeting ambitious air quality ambitions, so we must have the right conditions that will give operators confidence to invest in their fleets.

When it comes to the bus and coach market, the government recently announced plans for investment and committed to the introduction of a National Bus Strategy in 2020. Welcome news, but now we need to see the detail about how we can encourage people back on to buses as part of an integrated transport network that aims to play its part in reducing national emissions to zero.

Passenger numbers on local bus services continued to fall in 2019, which is a concern, especially as more local authorities begin to consider clean air zones and other environmental measures. The sector has often been overlooked, but a well-funded and strategically planned public transport system can play a key role in the future.

Nominations opened recently for Great Women in the British Car Industry 2020, an initiative run by Autocar magazine in association with SMMT and sponsors Bentley, Nissan and Toyota. The judging panel aims to celebrate the 100 leading women in the British car industry, as well as highlighting new talent at the beginning of their career in the sector.

If we are to meet the many challenges facing the automotive sector, we must draw in fresh talent, experience and ways of thinking, inspiring the best from across all backgrounds and genders to help shape the future of mobility.

Nominations are open until 23:59 on 9 March and candidates can be nominated by themselves or by others at

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