The need for the UK automotive sector to modernise, and the need for government to support it was the theme of SMMT’s Annual Dinner in London on Tuesday (29 November).
Addressing 1,000 members of industry and government at the event, Alison Jones, SMMT President and Senior Vice President Global Circular Economy, Stellantis, said: “UK Automotive is an agile sector that doesn’t just embrace change and innovation, we lead it. But we face fierce global competition and in the global race to net zero we must be as attractive – more attractive – than rival countries against whom we will compete for investment. We have inherent strengths, but to play to them, we need the right competitive framework; a level playing field. We are not asking for support to survive, but demanding action so we can thrive”.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “In the most testing of times, growth finally beckons for the UK automotive industry, and as recession looms, that’s growth that should be nurtured. We need a framework that enhances competitiveness, enables investment and promotes UK Automotive’s strengths: innovation, productivity and a highly skilled workforce. We therefore need swift and decisive, action that addresses the immediate challenges and gives us a fighting chance of winning the global competition. That window of opportunity is open but is closing fast.
Incoming Business Minister Nusrat Ghani also spoke about the need for the sector to adapt to the modern world.