After the good news last week that 2021 was a record-breaking year for battery electric vehicles, it is therefore unsurprising that the UK finished last year as the second largest market by volume for both plug-in and battery electric vehicle registrations in Europe.
Whilst this is testament to the industry’s commitment to improving air quality and tackling climate change, cuts last year to purchase incentives and grants for home chargers, as well as the need to accelerate the growth in on-street charger installation, risk stalling the progress made by the UK’s automotive industry.
Solutions to these issues will be high on the agenda at SMMT’s Electrified 2022 in March. The event brings together representatives from across the automotive industry and adjacent sector, political figures, media and other stakeholders. Indeed, we are delighted to announce that we will be joined at Electrified 2022 by the new SMMT President, Alison Jones, Senior Vice President and Group UK Managing Director, Stellantis, Paul Philpott, President and Chief Executive, Kia UK and Lisa Brankin, Managing Director, Ford of Britain and Ireland.
Tickets for SMMT Electrified 2022 are available to purchase, with limited free tickets available for member companies (subject to availability). I hope many of you will be able to join us and contribute to the discussion on how the UK can move from second to pole position in the shift to zero emission mobility. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Seventy Events team by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elsewhere this week, SMMT welcomed the news that the UK government has begun trade negotiations with India. India is one of the fastest growing global markets with increasing demand for personal mobility which would offer opportunities for U.K. automotive companies. The two countries’ sectors already have strong ties with cross investment so a deal that further solidified the relationship and reduced costs to business could offer significant benefits. Key to any future trading relationship is the avoidance or reduction of tariffs and other barriers to trade, which can be highly complex and burdensome.
Finally, the automotive industry lost one of its greatest champions last week, Jack Dromey MP. A tireless campaigner for many causes, he gave freely of his time to support our sector, providing advice and insight drawn from in depth knowledge of businesses and people not just from his West Midlands constituency but across the manufacturing sector.
A lovely, engaging, and decent man with a terrific and self-deprecating sense of humour, he was a brilliant public servant who will be greatly missed. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.