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NAA Update: Be prepared for ALL Brexit scenarios

The NAA’s guide to the latest information to help automotive companies with Brexit is included in this month’s update, but away from the B word, there’s good news in the form of the thriving low carbon automotive industry that was showcased at the Cenex LCV show, and have you booked your seat at the Northern Automotive networking event of the year, the imminent NAA Awards Dinner?…

A warm welcome back to all those who enjoyed a break over the late summer weeks! I want to offer my thanks to those of you who have applied for this year’s 2019 NAA Awards, and wish you luck over the coming weeks of judging. There are still tables available for the Dinner on 7 November, and would encourage those still considering attending the event to read our feature article on the Awards and MC for the night, Robert Llewellyn!

Moving onto Brexit, it will be a challenging few weeks in the run up to the postponed deadline date of 31 October. With a new Prime Minister now residing at Downing St, a ‘no deal’ Brexit currently remains the thrust of Boris Johnson’s plans. His recent suspension of Parliament, which sparked days of protesting, is perhaps a symbol of the pandemonium which may ensue if Britain’s EU exit is not handled correctly.   

The united message from the automotive industry remains the same – a ‘no deal’ Brexit would be devastating to our sector, would end frictionless trade (adding billions to the cost of importing/exporting) and put hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk. Particularly at a time when UK car production figures remain on decline for the 14th successive month.  This trend is primarily driven by weakness in key EU and Asian markets, and adding a ‘no deal’ Brexit into the mix hardly inspires confidence.  

My advice to the NAA community is to prepare for the worst case scenario, and for most, the free movement of goods will be the biggest concern. For those who wish to understand what changes are likely to take place at the UK border in the event of no-deal being reached, and what you can do to help ensure that goods continue to move as freely as possible across the border, below are some good sources of information and support:

Read more in this link to our Brexit article

Onto some more positive news, last week saw the return of the Cenex Low Carbon Vehicle exhibition. Our very own Carol Holden delivered a presentation about the NAA’s FAST STEP 3 project, and NAA members such as ULEMCo, BCA, Millbrook, EA Technology and AJE Powertrain exhibited at the event. This year the event grew and featured the inclusion of a CAV (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles) element. As to be expected, there was much discussion by the event’s keynote speakers about the government’s target of Net Zero Emissions by 2050 – which includes an ambition for the end of the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040. Link to LCV2019 event review here

Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of the SMMT, highlighted the importance of the UK getting four battery giga plants as car production becomes more electrified, as part of the Road to Zero, in order to meet current UK production levels – something I know that the DIT Inward Investment team are actively pushing for. It was also very interesting to hear that despite the UK’s future Net Zero ambitions, there has actually been an increase recently in CO2 emissions, due to the shift away from diesel and because of the move from small family cars to less efficient SUVs. This highlights that actually, there is still a place in the short term for diesel cars, and also that much needs to be done to make electric vehicles more attractive to the consumer, with the sales of pure EVs in the UK still less than 1% of total new car sales.

To finish, I would like to offer a warm welcome the following companies who have recently joined the NAA network; Visual PM, UCAL, STFC Hartree and Steeleson Engineering. And I welcome you all to network with them at some of our upcoming events:

Rowan

Investing in England's North West - European Regional Development Fund
Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham