UK: British automotive success leads overseas countries to approach SMMT
Several overseas countries have approached the UK's SMMT body, as Britain basks in a 19th consecutive month of output growth.
"The SMMT has been approached by at least four other European countries and they have car manufacturing facilities," SMMT chief executive, Mike Hawes, told delegates at yesterday's (24 October) 'Meet the Funder' event designed to bring together suppliers and financiers.
"For a change, the UK is not getting 'nul points' - it is getting top marks [although] clearly there are still challenges."
One of those overseas countries casting admiring glances at the UK could be Sweden, whose component supplier body, FKG, told just-auto earlier this year that representatives from Stockholm had visited Britain to gauge the effects of the Automotive Council.
The news other European countries are looking to Britain comes hot on the heels after yesterday's (24 October) figures from the SMMT revealed output for 2013 had passed the 1.1m unit - numbers that prove the results are not a "bubble" according to Hawes.
While the rest of Europe continues to struggle - albeit with some green shoots of optimism - the UK has consistently been strong - with September numbers also up 9.9% at almost 141,000 cars built.
"The UK has 19 consecutive months of growth - that proves it is sustainable - not a bubble," said Hawes.
"The UK is very much aside, very much, from the rest of Europe. The EU has been a really difficult place to do business recently so it is encouraging things are improving.
"It is just a really, really good time to be part of the automotive industry in the UK."
Hawes praised the importance of the partnership the SMMT enjoyed with the current UK administration as it looks to the automotive sector, among others, to lead a manufacturing renaissance and 'rebalance' the domestic economy away from a reliance on the financial sector.