Auto bosses want dedicated government stimulus package Car News

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders called on the government to provide a dedicated ‘Build Back Better’ fund for the UK automobile, which would support the transformation and recovery of the industry in the wake of the pandemic.

Noting that the auto industry contributes £ 15 billion a year to the national economy, employs around 180,000 people and is the largest exporter of goods, the trade body stresses the need for financial assistance to ensure continued competitiveness of the sector.

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The strategy proposed by the SMMT comes after new production figures have shown that the production of new cars in the UK remains below half of that of 2019 due to the pandemic and the semiconductor shortage, and less than nine years before sales of new combustion engine cars were banned. .

Government support is needed, according to the SMMT, to preserve automotive jobs in the UK, increase production capacity for electric vehicle batteries and improve skills in the sector.

The body said: “UK industry has many strengths – the diversity of its businesses, engineering excellence, innovation, a highly skilled workforce and the strength of the UK market, but global industry is fiercely competitive and its weaknesses must be corrected if its long-term success – and the benefits that flow from it – are to be secured. “

One of the main ambitions of the SMMT is for the UK to have 60 GWh of battery building capacity by 2030 – enough to build a million EVs per year without incurring punitive tariffs in trade with ” critical markets “of the EU.

It is widely reported that Nissan is set to confirm its own plans to ramp up battery production in the UK, with a new gigafactory in Sunderland slated to go into service by 2024 with eventual output of 20 GWh. A new electric model is also on the cards for production in Sunderland, alongside the Qashqai, Juke and Leaf.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes welcomed the reports on Nissan’s plans, but said there was still a long way to go: “It’s a huge boost, a real vote of confidence, but this is one. I talked about the level of capacity we have in the UK for battery capacity; there is already a production plant in Sunderland that they [Nissan] are looking to grow with their partner Envision – we need more than that.

“Germany has many times the investment capacity, and we are seeing this across Europe. It is an extremely competitive industry and, under the terms of the agreement with Europe by 2027, to avoid tariffs, the batteries must actually be made in the UK or European. “

The news, if confirmed, will be “very good for the region” of Sunderland, Hawes said, but to ensure further growth in the sector, the UK must have “a framework to attract investment in batteries and sustained manufacturing “.

There is potential, the SMMT estimates, for the creation of 40,000 new UK automotive jobs as part of the transition to zero-emission mobility, but it adds that without sufficient support and investment, some 90,000 jobs could be lost.

The fund would also be used to expand the UK’s often criticized electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with the SMMT calling for at least 2.3 million new charging points to be installed across the country by the end of the decade.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-29 08:30:44

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