SMMT calls on government to unlock £50bn potential

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is urging the next government to support that automotive industry deliver growth worth £50bn over the next decade.

New research published in its Vision 2035: Ready to Grow report shows that targeted policies could drive the value of the new car market from £70bn a year to £80bn, with more than 17 million fuel cars replaced by zero emission vehicles by the end of 2035

The report sets out a clear cross-party plan to:

  • strengthen the market
  • bolster Britain’s trade
  • upskill the workforce
  • provide low-cost, low carbon electricity
  • and transition to a net zero future

It terms of government support, the report found that halving VAT on new retail EV purchases for just the next three years would add an additional 300,000 new zero emission car registrations to the car parc, while introducing steps to increase the UK’s global competitiveness in light vehicle production would see more than nine million zero emission cars and vans produced between now and the end of 2035.

Automotive sector

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK automotive sector has proved its resilience during recessions and pandemics. Now, it’s ready to grow. With voters preparing to cast their ballots next week, the next government will have the power to unlock the sector’s potential, boosting the economy, creating jobs and cutting carbon. The industry’s vision is of green growth and a fair transition for all. Whoever forms the next government, we urge them to create the conditions that will allow us to deliver on our promise.

“The UK is Europe’s second largest zero emission car market and its biggest zero emission bus market. It also manufactures every vehicle type from cars, to vans, buses, trucks, and specialist and luxury automobiles, and exports them worldwide. The sector directly employs almost 200,000 people in manufacturing in every part of the country, and supports over 800,000 jobs in total across the nation – as well as keeping the rest of the economy on the move.

“As a significant contributor to the UK economy – producing Britain’s most valuable goods exports – growing the automotive sector will deliver economic, social and environmental dividends.”