The UK is the base for a world beating automotive components industry and it has the potential to become even more successful. ‘Strengthening the Supply Chain’, published on Tuesday by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, highlights the many advantages of UK manufacturing and recommends that government take a more active role in promoting the UK as the base for high value manufacturing industry.


Recognising that there are some tough challenges ahead SMMT is calling on government to support the industry in six key areas: making a firm decision regarding Britain’s entry into the single currency; introducing incentives for continuous training and apprenticeship courses; introducing further incentives to encourage expenditure on research and development; maintaining a competitive tax and regulatory environment; active promotion of UK manufacturing and investment opportunities; introducing a one stop shop to access government support programmes.


The future success of the component industry will depend on its ability to deliver cost effective and efficient solutions in a low carbon economy, in vehicle and pedestrian safety and to demonstrate that corporate social responsibility is a vital business element.


Commenting on the report’s findings, SMMT president Mike Baunton said: “The UK is a great place in which to design and manufacture high value added automotive components. We have a large number of world beating companies within our shores and with focussed effort can develop even more.


“We may not have the strength of a domestically owned vehicle manufacturing base that was the core of our industry many years ago, but we now have a local market that is even stronger. We have more of the global vehicle customers in the UK than in any other European country and they invested in the UK because it is an attractive location with a very strong supply base.”


Chairman of the SMMT Automotive Components Committee Andrew Richardson said: “Automotive suppliers have a clear vision for the future. We are focused on delivering innovative solutions to the challenges facing our customers, increasing our research and development capacity and making sure that our manufacturing processes continue to improve. The UK industry can compete globally and we want to work with government to secure new investment and ensure future success.”