It has been a momentous year for the automotive sector in Wales and Welsh Government wants to develop growth and opportunities throughout the supply chain, said Economy Secretary, Ken Skates at Autolink 2016 this morning.
He told representatives from over 240 businesses meeting at Cardiff Stadium that the UK automotive sector last year saw 1.68M vehicles made in Britain and 2.37M engines were produced with 40% sourced from Ford and Toyota Welsh plants.
Mr Skates explained how this benefitted Wales, “This growth has filtered down to the sector in Wales wehre our 150 supply chain companies are employing 18,500 people.”
Welsh Government recognises the strategic importance of the automotive sector in Wales and modern competitive manufacturing is a vital source of quality employment, driver of exports, powers innovation, technology and R&D to secure Wales’ future. Aston Martin, TVR and Riversimple FCVs have been attracted to Wales to build their new cars.
“We cannot underestimate the long-term impact that the UK’s intention to exit the EU may have on our manufacturers … access to a single market of 500 million people is critical,” says Mr Skates.
“If growth in the automotive sector is to continue, unrestricted access to the Single European Market is vital.
“There are some signs that uncertainty as to our future trading relationships is acting as a brake on big investment decisions.”
He said the UK Government must be clearer about its negotiating position and what it considers to be “red-line issues”.
Businesses with ideas on improving Wales are being urged to contact Welsh Government and give their views as the automotive sector is on the threshold of a new future including autonomous vehicles, connected cars and low emission vehicles and this will impact in Wales.
Greater automation and improving skills are vital to future business successes and there is a need for a partnership between business, government and academia.
|Autolink provides Wales based companies with the chance to exhibit their products and services at the event – areas of interest include:
This year the exhibition will feature a ‘Technology Corner’ where innovative products and services from industry and academia will foster collaborative discussion with their representatives.