After the years of challenges caused by Brexit and the Covid pandemic, it’s fair to say the automotive industry is desperate for some good news. And according to the latest research by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), it’s possible that much hoped for positive news could finally be on the horizon.

What does growth look like?

The SMMT report states that the automotive industry’s expected return to growth in 2023 could be worth £14 billion extra to the UK economy during 2023 as production recovers and the new car and van market increases by 15%. This would be worth £10 billion, with further potential in 2024 raising this figure to £25 billion.

The picture looks equally promising in the manufacturing sector where easing semiconductor shortages are expected to help output rise by 15% in the next year, equating to 984,000 units and £3.9 billion – rising still further to over a million units in 2025.

Is it too good to be true?

When Covid compounded the ongoing ill-effects of Brexit, it was a reminder that complacency is always a mistake in an industry that is often hit first and hardest by adverse global events. However, even in the absence of another unforeseen catastrophe, SMMT’s predictions do come with an important caveat.

The organisation is warning that for the automotive sector to flourish as it has predicted it can, the government must act urgently to secure this crucial asset to the UK economy, while also speeding up the necessary process of decarbonisation.

So, how can this be achieved? The SMMT’s recommended growth strategy is aimed at attracting investment in vehicle, battery and fuel cell production, boosting electrified supply chains, investing in innovation and training, all while making the infrastructure and incentives required to create a successful EV market happen.

As the SMMT has pointed out, the UK is Europe’s second largest car market with exports accounting for 10% of total UK exports, so this is not an issue the government can ignore against the backdrop of net zero targets and the cost-of-living crisis. As such, they recommend ongoing help with energy costs, financial support for SMEs, business rate reform to boost investment, as well as investment in the charging infrastructure and skills, including the formation of a national skills forum.

A need for speed

Here at Interflex, we’re proud to be part of the agile, resilient and innovative UK automotive industry. That’s why it’s our fervent hope that the government listens to the industry and takes the urgent action that will boost the UK economy as a whole, not just the automotive sector.

By developing new and innovative materials with a firm focus on sustainable solutions, Interflex supply a wide range of NVH solutions for the automotive industry and beyond. To find out more, please call us on 01949 861 494, or email us at