The event took place at SMMT’s headquarters in London and was also attended by John Hayes, Minster of State, Department for Transport and Nick Hurd, Minister of State, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, was present and meeting topics were wide ranging. Top of the list were the conditions necessary for the automotive sector to thrive and the priorities for the UK automotive sector when the country leaves the EU. Key to any future success will be close collaboration between the industry and government, a point reinforced by all parties.
The British automotive sector is a UK success story, turning over £71.6 billion, employing more than 800,000 people and manufacturing more than 1.5 million cars and 2.4 million engines in 2015. So far in 2016 more than 2.5 million new cars have been registered for use on British roads, a record for the period, with buyers attracted by some of the safest, most fuel efficient and technologically advanced cars ever produced.
With over 80% of our production going to more than 160 countries globally it is critical we secure unfettered single market access and unhindered trade opportunities worldwide. The industry is agile but long term investment and growth will depend heavily upon our ability to race competitively and to attract global talent within an economically stable environment.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “Today’s discussions were a good opportunity to meet with government to reinforce the success and importance of UK Automotive, and to highlight the specific priorities for our sector when leaving the European Union. Being part of the single market has helped make the UK automotive sector amongst the most competitive in the world and a critical part of the UK economy. It is essential that we maintain those benefits and we will work with government and our partners in Europe to ensure the global success of our sector continues in the future.”