The UK automotive industry has called on the government to “take rapid action” and secure its long-term future, as the sector could contribute an additional £14bn to the economy.
According to analysis published today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the sector’s recovery is expected to gain momentum next year after two years of pandemic and supply chain shortages.
Forecasts expect the new car and van market to grow 15 per cent to £10bn in 2023, with an additional £15bn a year later.
“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,” chief executive Mike Hawes told industry stakeholders this evening.
“We need a framework that enhances competitiveness, enables investment and promotes UK automotive’s strengths: innovation, productivity and a highly skilled workforce.”
The industry is lobbying for a targeted government approach to attract investment in vehicle and cell fuel production, as well as support the transition to electric vehicles.
Such an approach, the SMMT said, would help bolster competitiveness in the face of economic uncertainty and soaring energy costs.
“We therefore need swift and decisive action that addresses the immediate challenges and gives us a fighting chance of winning the global competition,” Hawes added. “That window of opportunity is open but is closing fast.”
A BEIS spokesperson told City A.M.: “We are determined to ensure the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing, especially as we transition to electric vehicles.
“We are supporting the industry through the Automotive Transformation Fund to develop a high-value end-to-end electrified automotive supply chain in the UK. Meanwhile, our Apprenticeship Levy will rise to £2.7bn and will help the sector secure the skills vital for growth.”