THE UK motor industry has today restated its view that staying in the European Union is best for its business and best for British jobs.
The SMMT wants to ensure there is absolute clarity on the sector’s position.
The industry is a huge employer, supporting 800,000 jobs across the UK and contributing £15.5 billion annually to the economy. It has emerged from the recession stronger, more productive and extremely competitive and is now a leading global player, with exports at record levels and vehicle production at the highest level for over a decade.
Before the start of the campaigning period, the SMMT commissioned a survey of its members – including car and commercial vehicle manufacturers, parts suppliers, aftermarket companies and other companies large and small.
Seventy-seven per cent of firms surveyed said remaining in Europe would be the best for their business, with only nine per cent saying they would prefer to leave. Notably no large company said that an exit would be in their business’s best interests.
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: ‘UK Automotive is globally competitive, securing record levels of investment, creating tens of thousands of jobs annually and exporting to over 100 countries. We want this success to continue rather than jeopardise it.’
Other leading industry figures said they shared the same view.
Ken Gregor, chief financial officer of Jaguar Land Rover, said: ‘Remaining in the EU – our largest market – will increase Jaguar Land Rover’s chances to grow, create jobs and attract investment.
‘Our European supply chain has been fundamental in helping us to meet customer expectations worldwide and achieve sustainable, profitable growth.’
Tony Walker, deputy managing director, Toyota Motor Manufacturing UK, said: ‘We believe that continued membership of the European Union is best for our business and for our competitiveness in the longer term.’
Ian Robertson, a member of the board of management at BMW AG, said: ‘We firmly believe Britain will be better off if it remains an active and influential member of the EU, shaping European regulations which will continue to impact the UK whatever the decision on Thursday.’
See what Hawes had to say on the subject at CDX16 by clicking play below.
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