The first SMMT Global Trade Conference is fast approaching on 12 October. This online event will explore how a robust rebound of global automotive trade will be key to getting the UK sector, and indeed wider economy, on the road to recovery from the pandemic, while also ensuring that the latest vehicles and technologies are available in markets worldwide.
The Conference will bring together a broad audience from across the industry and beyond. This will include senior global automotive executives and policy makers from a range of countries, trade experts and the media for a series of keynote sessions and engaging panel discussions. These will focus on new opportunities for UK automotive trade, how to build a new partnership with the European automotive industry and reforging trading ties in North America and other global markets.
Keynote speakers include Adrian Hallmark, Chairman and CEO, Bentley Motors, The Rt Hon Emily Thornberry MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade and Mike Freer MP, Minister for Exports, Department for International Trade. SMMT members are eligible for a complimentary ticket, and you can find out more information here – I hope you can join us.
Elsewhere this week, the latest production data released by SMMT for August revealed again the impact of trade issues on the sector. August saw significant declines in the number of cars, commercial vehicles and engines produced in the UK, with falls of -27.0%, -35.1% and -23.6% over the same month last year.
Whilst not the only factor at play, the shortage of semiconductors has impacted the ability of vehicle makers to keep production lines rolling at their full capacity, leading to less cars and commercial vehicles being built with a decline in demand for engines as a result.
This disruption is likely to continue well into 2022, and possibly even beyond that, so extending job support schemes, such as furlough which has proven such a lifeline to automotive businesses yet ended yesterday, would provide a measure of help at this extremely challenging time.
Finally, DAF Trucks and Britishvolt have signed up as new buyers at SMMT’s Meet the Buyer event held on 19 October, in person, at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry. Interest has been high so if you are looking to develop meaningful business connections during this key period of recovery and transition, register your interest without delay here.