SMMT Events

SMMT International Automotive Summit 2017

Tuesday 20 June
IET London: Savoy Place, WC2R 0BL

Download the agenda

SMMT’s International Automotive Summit provides a platform for the UK automotive industry, government and media to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the industry.

Now in its ninth year, this unique gathering attracted 350 of the most senior automotive executives from across the industry, alongside policy-makers and journalists. Alongside speeches from leading manufacturers, Chris Giles, Financial Times Economics Editor, and Bronwen Maddox, Director Institute for Government, provided an expert analysis on the latest Brexit developments.

SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes used the event to call on government to seek an interim arrangement with the EU that would maintain membership of the single market and customs union until a final agreement on a new relationship with the EU is negotiated and implemented. Read the press release here.

The event also saw the launch of the SMMT Sustainability Report 2017, with the sector recording gains in productivity, economic contribution and environmental impact. Read the press release here.

Industry Keynotes

Jeremy Hicks, Managing Director, Jaguar Land Rover UK gave his keynote speech at the SMMT International Automotive Summit 2017.

In his speech, Jeremy called for balance and clarity in the diesel debate, citing research showing half of consumers don’t know what Euro 6 means. Demonising diesel doesn’t solve anything, and with the seismic shift in technology, “…if you care about air quality, there is nothing wrong with buying a diesel car”.

Watch the speech here.

Ian Howells, Senior Vice President, Honda Motor Europe gave his keynote speech at the SMMT International Automotive Summit 2017.

Ian’s speech gave a stark insight into the impact of leaving the customs union, calling for continued free and frictionless trade. Honda’s just in time manufacturing requires 2 million parts to be delivered to its Swindon plant on 350 lorries daily, so the supply chain’s smooth operation is essential.

Watch the speech here.


The UK and Europe: As our industry navigates the path towards Brexit, the panel brought the latest perspective on the likely implications of Brexit and the progress of negotiations.

  • Chris Giles, Economics Editor, Financial Times
  • Bronwen Maddox, Director, Institute for Government
  • Frank Samolis, Partner and Co-chair of International Trade Practice, Squire Patton Boggs
  • Prof L. Alan Winters cb, Professor of Economics, University of Sussex

Watch the full discussion here.

Future Challenges and Opportunities for Retail in the UK: Retail is evolving, creating new opportunities for automotive brands. Our panel reviewed current challenges facing the sector and discuss how new retail channels can help build consumer engagement, underpinning confidence in the retail market.

  • Michael Martin, VP – Global Strategic Development, DHL Supply Chain
  • Ian Plummer, Manufacturer and Agency Director, Auto Trader
  • Tony Whitehorn, Chief Executive, Hyundai Motor UK

Watch the full discussion here.

Streamed Sessions

Sustainability – future gains in production processes: Alongside the launch of the SMMT’s 2017 Sustainability Report and drawing from real-world case studies, our panel assessed the current initiatives in the production process as well as how manufacturers can continue to deliver growth while reducing their environmental impact.

  • Paul Begly Programme Director, Universirty of Cambridge Institute for Sustainable Leadership
  • Alexander Law Head of Public Affairs and Sustainability, Michelin
  • Mike Lomax Head of Product Management UK, Bosch Rexroth
  • Moderated by: Justin Webb, Broadcast Journalist

Reshoring Supply Chain and UK content: Leaving the European Union has profound implications for the domestic supply chain. Our panel evaluated how to promote the right conditions for reshoring as well as exploring key issues around the country-of-origin of components and vehicles.

  • Simon Anderson Managing Director, LVS Small Plastic Parts
  • Mark Franckel Group Chief Executive, Arlington Industries Group
  • Mike Wright Chairman, Automotive Investment Organisation Professor Matthias Holweg Professor of Operations Management, University of Oxford
  • Moderated by: Alan Tovey, Industry Editor, Daily Telegraph

Watch the full discussion here

For any queries or for information on sponsorship opportunities, please email

Summit 2017 Highlights