Issue: May 2009


SMMT welcomes NAIGT recommendations for future direction of the UK automotive sector



by James Hilton

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has welcomed the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team’s (NAIGT) report into the future of the UK automotive sector, expressing its commitment to supporting and developing the recommendations it sets out and working with government to maximise growth opportunities for the UK motor industry.

Commenting on the NAIGT’s findings, SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said, “The automotive industry is adapting to the challenging economic conditions affecting global markets but must take the necessary steps to prepare itself for the opportunities that will emerge from future growth and an increasing demand for lower carbon vehicles.

“The UK motor industry is well placed to retain and grow its share of the world automotive market. The new spirit of collaboration emerging from the NAIGT’s recommendations has the potential to enhance the competitiveness of individual companies and the attractiveness of the UK as a location for the global automotive industry. I hope the government will work with SMMT to deliver the strategic vision set out in the report.”

Set up in early 2008 by government’s Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) with the backing of senior representatives of the UK motor industry, the NAIGT aimed to identify new measures for industry and government to promote continued investment and improved productivity and competitiveness in UK automotive.

Reporting today, the NAIGT recommended:

Establishing a joint industry and government Automotive Council to develop, guide and implement a long-term strategic framework for the industry.
Focusing the UK research and development agenda around a pan-industry technology roadmap, building a bold, large scale pilot market to demonstrate, experiment and grow a new low-carbon personal transportation system.
Supporting these two key areas of work are a series of recommendations focused on:

A positive and supportive business environment
Technology and low carbon
A stronger and more competitive supply chain
The report, ‘A 20 Year Vision for the UK Automotive Industry’, sets out the findings from the NAIGT’s 12-month investigation into the strengths and weaknesses of the UK motor industry and makes its recommendations for maximising long-term growth.

Notes: 

1. At €20 bn, the automotive sector is Europe's largest investor in R&D, driving industry forward and helping deliver more sustainable motoring for the 21st century. Technological innovation has helped car and CV manufacturers slash CO2 and air quality emissions from vehicles. New diesel cars for example emit 95% less soot from the tailpipe than those made 15 years ago and average new car CO2 has been cut by 16% since 1997. 

2. The energy needed to produce each vehicle is down 12%, water use is down 9% and waste to landfill is down 25%, compared to 2006 performance. CO2 emissions per vehicle produced have fallen 14% in the last year and by 45% since 1999. Almost 10,000 tonnes of waste have been prevented from entering landfill sites. For more details, download SMMT's ninth annual Sustainability Report from the SMMT website www.smmt.co.uk/publications  

Why is the automotive sector important to the UK economy?

27 car and CV manufacturers operating in the UK
1.75m cars and commercial vehicles produced each year
£51b turnover
£9.5 billion value added
Over 800,000 UK jobs
UK automotive manufacturing supplies over 100 markets worldwide, offering some resilience to the UK issues
New cars emit less CO2 than older models – average new car CO2 emissions have fallen 16% in the last decade 

For more information on the industry please visit www.motorindustryfacts.com


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