CEO Update

Competitive conditions needed to sustain record EV exports

28 October 2022 #CEO Update

A new Prime Minister and government enter parliament this week and we look forward to working with both to ensure the UK automotive sector remains globally competitive. We need a clear and compelling strategy for growth and stability that reassures markets, bolsters consumer confidence and makes sure the UK is seen as investable.

The automotive industry can help drive an economic recovery, but we need a period of stability to deliver the conditions and regulatory certainty which will help us attract investment, talent and innovation, while staying competitive in the global race to net zero.

The UK has world-class capabilities in building vehicles that will deliver clean transport, and the latest figures published this week show production of battery electric vehicles firmly bucking the overall trend of decline, with output once again rising, by 16.6% in September, to round off a record first nine months.

Moreover, new SMMT analysis shows the growing importance of all electrified vehicle production to the sector and wider UK economy. Combined BEV, PHEV and HEV global exports have increased in value from £1.3 billion to £7.9 billion since 2017, with export volumes surging 110.4% ultimately representing a third of the value of all UK car exports. To maintain this growth, we need action to drive investment into electrified vehicle production and, critically, the supply chain.

In further good news this week, UK commercial vehicle production recorded its ninth consecutive month of growth this year, with the best September in more than a decade as output rose by more than half. The growth was driven by significant overseas orders, demonstrating strong demand for UK-built CVs and the sector’s resilience in continuing to deliver despite economic and supply challenges.

Further afield, SMMT has been supporting the Department for International Trade in Korea with promotion of UK Automotive at the Daegu International Future Auto Expo (DIFA). The Korean market continues to be vital for British auto manufacturers, thanks to high demand for our luxury and high-performance vehicles and there are opportunities for companies with an innovative offering, who take the time to understand and explore this sophisticated market.

Finally, I am delighted to announce that former political advisor turned writer, comedian and radio and TV host Matt Forde will provide the after-dinner entertainment at this year’s SMMT Annual Dinner. Acclaimed for his own topical standup shows and appearances on television shows such as Have I Got News for You?, we look forward to welcoming Matt to the SMMT stage on Tuesday 29 November. Tickets are nearly gone, so if you haven’t booked yours, contact our Events team for more information.

Update Newsletter