This week saw the return of our much-missed SMMT Annual Dinner. Bringing together the great and the good of the industry, the event had the positive atmosphere of a confident and forward-looking industry, despite some formidable challenges ahead.
The sector has invested heavily in bringing new electric and other alternative powered vehicles to market: 115 different models are now available. With user demand now exceeding supply, it looks like policy makers are being left behind.
If the UK automotive sector is to remain and even increase its competitiveness, we need to redouble our efforts and take decisive action on infrastructure. It’s not just about installing new charge points, itself a mammoth task, but we need them to be in a serviceable condition, with common apps and payment systems.
The long-term future of the industry is at stake. Given that automotive manufacturing produces Britain’s most valuable export good and employs some 155,000 people in highly skilled, well-paid jobs across the country, the importance of retaining this sector is obvious.