THE automotive sector is leading Britain’s industrial resurgence, but the government needs to work with the industry to ensure its continued success.
That was the message delivered by Gareth Jones, President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders at the SMMT’s 99th annual dinner in London last night.
The industry has delivered an impressive performance in 2015:
– The domestic new car market is now the second largest in Europe.
– Manufacturing output is up, with exports leading the growth.
– Employment is at its highest level since 2008.
– And the sector’s annual economic contribution is, at £15.5 billion, at a record high.
There is much to be proud of, Jones said, adding: ‘While the UK’s productivity is falling behind that of global competitors, in automotive we excel. We have the best record in Europe and our productivity has increased four times faster than the UK average. How? Sheer hard graft, hard won investment and a culture that demands continuous improvement and innovation.’
However, he added that there were also major challenges to overcome – and called on the government to recognise the serious challenges faced in the automotive supply chain.
With continued government partnership and sound policies to attract investment and encourage innovation, UK automotive has the potential to deliver more growth, said Jones.
He added: ‘We have shown that Britain has what it takes to be a manufacturing powerhouse again.
‘But we can’t do it alone. So we say to government: Create the conditions that allow us to develop the quality products for which we are world-renowned.
‘Back us to create the jobs, economic growth and prosperity that Britain needs. We have shown we can deliver; work with us to make sure that success continues.’
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