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SMMT sets out its own manifesto

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has set out its own manifesto for what it wants from a new Government.

The SMMT said it wants whoever gets into power to “transform the automotive business environment through targeted incentives championing research and development and maximising the country’s skills resources”.

Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: “The UK motor industry has managed to sustain vital industrial capability through the recession and is now looking to exploit a strengthening economic recovery.

“The UK has a great opportunity to strengthen its automotive supply base and capitalise on the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. The next Government must commit to continuing the work of the Automotive Council and actively support measures to improve skills, encourage more investment in R&D and re-build business and consumer confidence.”

Directing its manifesto at the next Government, the SMMT has outlined the key issues it believes will affect the UK motor industry in the near future.

Key measures highlighted in the SMMT manifesto include:

Champion automotive manufacturing in the UK

  • Government policy that supports growth and continued partnership through the Automotive Council will help the industry play a vital role in the UK economy.
  • Proactive engagement from Government and continued investment from industry will ensure that home-grown suppliers are strengthened and internationally competitive.

Create a transformed business environment

  • A longer term attitude towards vehicle taxation and demand-led incentives must be pursued to enable business confidence and an internationally competitive business environment.
  • Government must use available funding more effectively, providing support towards the economic recovery.

Support research, design and development

  • The automotive sector invests over £1 billion in R&D each year in the UK, and is the largest investor in R&D in Europe. Government should support this investment through clear and targeted incentives to attract further investment.
  • Government should make the UK R&D tax credit system more flexible by providing immediately payable credit on a temporary basis.

Close the skills gap

  • A refreshed and more focused approach to skills and training is essential to ensuring the UK remains globally competitive.
  • An increase in investment for science, technology, engineering and maths is necessary to open up employment opportunities within the automotive sector.

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