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UK automotive supply chains 'to get £225m boost'

The UK’s automotive supply chain could see £225m of investment over the next three years, says the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT).

However, the trade group warned of a future skills shortage and said that continued support from the UK government is “critical” if the industry is to stand up to international competition.

Following a membership survey, SMMT said 94% of their members were planning to invest in their companies over the next three years.

This includes investment in plants, machinery, product development and in skills and apprenticeships.

The survey was conducted on behalf of SMMT by polling agency ComRes, and included 122 members of the group’s Automotive Component Section.

Of those polled, 51% said they felt the state of the sector has improved over the last three years and 78% said they felt positive about their prospects in the coming three years.

SMMT claims that the British supply chain has seen a resurgence after a dip in 2011, with an average of 41% of components in British built cars being sourced domestically.

However, the survey also warned that a skills shortage could slow down future growth. Some 41% of those surveyed said a lack of skilled workers, graduates and apprentices could impede their growth within the next three years.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes called on continued support from the UK government to help the sector grow.  “A strong domestic supply chain is critical to a successful automotive sector and we are confident that, with the right political and economic conditions, significant supply chain investment can be secured,” he said.

He went on to say that the UK’s automotive supply sector was neither as large nor as strong as the international competition, and that “continued government collaboration… will be critical as we strive to re-shore more supply chain work”.

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