CEO Update

Without a plan, headwinds threaten to push back future success

01 September 2023 #CEO Update

As summer draws to a close, news this week that UK car manufacturing notched up a sixth month of growth in July, and CV output a fourth, should help prolong the warmth. For CV production in particular, the year is turning into a real success story with soaring exports and a steady, stable domestic market driving volumes above pre-pandemic levels.

With the worst of recent supply chain difficulties behind us and plants ramping up production of electrified vehicles, the future is looking more optimistic. However, headwinds remain – not least the looming changes to rules of origin thresholds due in just four months’ time.

These new thresholds will pose a significant challenge to manufacturers on both sides of the Channel, with the prospect of tariffs and, potentially, price increases on electric vehicles that would discourage consumers from buying the very models needed to achieve climate change goals. This would be a frankly absurd situation so a pragmatic solution must be found, and urgently.

These tougher rules, whenever they are applied, underline the critical need for the UK to increase its own battery and EV supply chain manufacturing capability. Recent announcements are, of course, incredibly important and have helped rewrite the narrative around the UK sector. But we now need government to build on this momentum with a dedicated, cohesive strategy to attract further investment and develop our skills base.

I was delighted this week to join an SMMT delegation to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, a unique publicly funded facility and the first anywhere in Europe, established to work in partnership with private companies to industrialise – and provide the skills for – battery manufacturing in the UK. UKBIC is a prime example of what we, as a country, need to be doing more of to stay at the forefront of the EV transition and secure our place on the global stage.

We’ll be discussing the key enablers needed to drive this once in a generation transformation with a host of experts at SMMT Electrified later this month. With limited places now available, avoid disappointment and book yours now by contacting

Update Newsletter