There is no doubt about it; the UK car industry is running headlong into a perfect storm, Emissions Scandal, Dirty Diesel & bonkers #Brexit.
Jaguar Land Rover which has seen continuous expansion for the last decade has laid off 1000 contractors at its Solihull plant & has been cutting back on production volumes. Nissan in Sunderland has announced redundancies although these aren’t compulsory (yet!).
Politicians have a huge responsibility for this by confusing the public about ‘dirty diesels’ after having encouraged their adoption to combat global warming. European sales of diesel cars are down a whopping 35% in one year. Of course the industry itself has shot itself in the foot by massaging, if not flagrantly violating, its own emission standards.
So what’s to be done:-
- Innovation, Innovation & more innovation. The industry has historically been slow to react to environmental pressures & must now accelerate the switch to hybrid & electric vehicles.
- A customs union with the EEC as a minimum is essential – it is now time for the industry to get off the fence & start lobbying hard. Las year inward investment was down 181 billion & outward investment up 150 billion. This is a direct result of #Brexit & action is needed now!