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Getting automotive back on track priority for 2023

Getting the automotive sector back on track is the top priority for 2023, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Getting the automotive sector back on track is the top priority for 2023, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 

Chief executive Mike Hawes warned that a return to pre-Covid production levels was fundamental, “given the jobs, exports and economic contribution the automotive industry sustains.”

“UK car makers are doing all they can to ramp up production of the latest electrified vehicles, and help deliver net-zero, but more favourable conditions for investment are needed and needed urgently – especially in affordable and sustainable energy and availability of talent – as part of a supportive framework for automotive manufacturing,’’ the SMMT boss said. 

Hawes’ comments come on the heels of car production returning to growth in October following a supply chain-induced slump in September. 

Last month, the UK output rose 7.4 per cent to 69,524 units, with both the home and overseas market going up by 12.5 and 6.3 per cent respectively.

Nevertheless, October’s production levels remained well behind both 2019 and the five-year pre-pandemic average.

Commenting on the results, KPMG’s head of automotive Richard Peberdy said that rising energy prices could further inflict pressure on car makers and “threaten the global competitiveness of the UK automotive industry.”

“The race for countries to be seen as world leaders in electric vehicle production is well underway and the UK’s position for manufacturing cars, vans and parts depends on very considerable investment in battery manufacturing and skills,” Peberdy added. 

“At this stage it is not clear where this is going to come from.”

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