CEO Update

Why we must turbocharge UK competitiveness to win Race to Zero

17 March 2023 #CEO Update

Rail strikes regrettably delayed our flagship SMMT Electrified event which was set to take place this Thursday (now postponed to 18 September), but we didn’t let that stop us in our tracks. On Monday, we held a special Electrified Parliamentary Reception at the House of Lords where we launched a new blueprint for the UK’s industrial EV transition, and we were delighted to welcome representatives from across our membership, as well as Ministers, Peers, MPs, government officials and other stakeholders. Thank you to all those who made time to attend and to our speakers, Jesse Norman, Minister of State for Transport; Marc Palmer from Auto Trader, our event partner; and Lord Fox, our host.

Powering up Britain’s EV manufacturing and supply chain is the central theme of the blueprint, which highlights Britain’s advantages as an automotive investment destination. It is supported by a new EV Supply Chain Directory, which maps out, for the first time, how UK companies produce almost every component required to manufacture the latest zero emission vehicles in some capacity.

From batteries, powertrains, fuel cells and power electronics to anodes, rare earth magnets, graphene and silicon carbide wafers, the UK’s supply capability is clear. This is matched by our experience in making electrified vehicles, which comprised a third of all car production last year. The UK also offers significant renewable energy provision and world-class R&D know-how, which demonstrates some of our many intrinsic strengths. The challenge now is to scale up and at pace.

Our blueprint goes further, setting out a Green Automotive Transformation strategy that would build on these foundations to position Britain as one of the world’s most competitive locations for advanced automotive manufacturing. Critically, however, we need an urgent response to initiatives such as the US $370 billion Inflation Reduction Act and EU Green Deal Industrial Plan, with these substantial packages of support already affecting global spending decisions.

We hope that by the time SMMT’s May Regional Forum comes around we will be in a position to discuss the UK response to the increasingly competitive global trading environment. Taking place at the British Motor Museum in Warwickshire, the event will host more than 200 senior delegates, including vehicle manufacturers, and global and local suppliers.­­­­­ This is a not to be missed networking opportunity and we have several expert presentations from speakers including Aston Martin, Dennis Eagle, DHL, Grainger and Worrell, Invest Coventry & Warwickshire, LEVC, UKBIC and WMG.

Registration is now open and SMMT members benefit from free tickets, so if you are interested in attending visit here. I look forward to welcoming many of you in person on the day.

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