Blog: SMMT Annual Dinner
Dave Leggett | 28 November 2012
The venue for the mass eat-in (1,100 diners from across the UK automotive sector, all dressed up in their finest penguin suits and frocks), was The Grosvenor, Park Lane - central London
The SMMT annual dinner last night was the usual agreeable fare. I was there as a guest of GKN and managed to squeeze in a very quick interview at the pre-dinner reception with Robert Rickell, GKN Driveline's Global Engineering Director (below link). It's not every day that you conduct an interview while standing with a glass of wine in one hand.
The general atmosphere from the people I spoke to seemed quite positive. Obviously there are challenges and issues out there, but there are also some positive stories, interesting innovations and so on. The UK situation isn't quite as bad as the picture in some other European countries. And, besides last night's decent feed, I'd give SMMT some plaudits for the recent 'meet the funder' event it put on; a very thoughtful initiative that should help smaller suppliers gain access to funding for much-needed investments.
By the way, the after dinner speaker last night - that's him on stage in the pic - was TV writer and satirist/comic (not sure exactly how to describe him) Alexander Armstrong. I have seen a few after dinner speakers at these affairs and I'd say he was one of the best I have seen for some time...easy listening, some very good topical lines, clearly not a major ego, and he didn't try to be clever with auto industry observations that can often seem laboured or tired cliches. And he kept it short, which never does any harm.
The short films available on YouTube showing Toyota's Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell being made are well worth a look (as noted by previous blog). The Motomachi plant in Toyota City is churning out three Mi...
Here's a chance to see details of Toyota's Mirai fuel cell car being manufactured at its Motomachi plant in Japan....
Interesting development in the news at Audi. There's a robot on the assembly line that works with the humans....
If you live in North America and want to buy an Opel, you head for your friendly Buick corner store and drive home in a shiny new Regal built in Canada, though launch models a few years back actually ...
- Volvo UK specs up seven seat XC90 redesign
- ANALYSIS: Mercedes smart brand's last chance?
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Hobnobbing with the A-listers
- Management briefing: 48V mild hybrids (2)
- Briefing: 48V mild hybrids (3)
- Geneva show list updated
- UK: Aston Martin to reveal future models strategy
- Ricardo unveils new prototype electric motor
- Audi plots 2020 expansion strategy
- GENEVA DEBUTS: Audi Q7 e-tron to be a diesel PHEV
- Global light vehicle engine technologies market- forecasts to 2029
- Global vehicle lightweighting - technology, trends and the future
- LMC Automotive's European Passenger Car Production Estimates - Latest Monthly Update
- Global electrified light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)