UK car industry body urges Government to tackle Brexit risks ‘head on’

The region's Nissan car plant.
The region's Nissan car plant.
0
Have your say

The UK car industry’s trade body has urged the Government to tackle the results of Brexit ‘head on.’

The industry is critical to the North East economy, with Sunderland’s Nissan plant employing more than 6,000 people directly and more than 20,000 in its supply chain, much of which is based locally.

This success has been due to unrestricted access to the single market, input to EU legislation to safeguard the interests of UK automotive, and the ability to recruit talent from abroad.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes

New figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show the sector turned over a record £71.6billion in 2015. Jobs, production output and vehicle sales all grew while the environmental impact of manufacturing, waste from production and water and energy use per vehicle produced were reduced.

The SMMT says access to the single market and EU-negotiated international trade deals, the ability to recruit talent internationally and influence new standards have all helped make the UK automotive industry one of the world’s most competitive and helped attract billions of pounds in investment in recent years, delivering record productivity, job creation and growth.

Chief executive Mike Hawes said, “UK Automotive has gone from strength to strength, and is now delivering record turnover, record productivity and more jobs.

“These strong results go hand in hand with a steadfast commitment to improving our environmental performance, which is clearly demonstrated through reductions in CO2, waste and water use.

“This success has been due to unrestricted access to the single market, input to EU legislation to safeguard the interests of UK automotive, and the ability to recruit talent from abroad.

“Our growth depends on certainty and continued open and reciprocal access to the 100-plus markets with which the UK automotive industry so successfully trades.

“This is not just finished cars but components, technologies and the wider automotive value chain. Any risks and uncertainty to these fundamental benefits need to be addressed head on by UK government.”

The record turnover by automotive manufacturers represents a 7.3% increase on 2014, with production and sales of UK-built vehicles continuing to grow both at home and abroad. The strong performance was matched by growth in employment, with 814,000 people across the UK now dependent on the sector as a whole for a job – up 17,000 over the previous year.