SMMT Calls on Government to Grasp 74b Digital Manufacturing Opportunity

SMMT Calls on Government to Grasp 74b Digital Manufacturing Opportunity

The latest report from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on the government and the automotive sector to grasp the £74 billion opportunity from digital manufacturing.

The SMMT’s new report highlights a £74 billion opportunity for the UK if the industry fully embraces digitalisation over the next 20 years.

Commissioned from KPMG, ‘The Digitalisation of the UK Automotive Industry’ looks at the future of digital manufacturing – sometimes known as the fourth industrial revolution – and outlines the benefits for the industry, consumers and the wider economy, while also highlighting the potential challenges the UK sector must overcome.

Along with the ongoing development of ultra-low emission and connected and autonomous vehicles, the transition to digital manufacturing represents the biggest step change for automotive manufacturing since the introduction of automation in production lines in the 1960s.

By embracing digitalisation, the automotive manufacturing sector as a whole will stand to gain £6.9 billion every year over the next 19 years, with a cumulative benefit to the wider economy of £74 billion.

This is a significant prize, though there are challenges for the industry and government to overcome if it is to be realised.

The UK’s digital infrastructure must be improved, while the skills gap must be addressed and investment in digitalisation is accelerated, while clear policies on cyber security and standards for data sharing must be developed to promote trust.

SMMT is calling for government to support this work and ensure the UK remains a major global manufacturing destination, by putting digitalisation at the heart of industrial policy. Other countries have taken the lead.

Germany was the first to adopt a digitalisation strategy, Industrie 4.0, led by Chancellor Angela Merkel, while in the US, the Industrial Internet Consortium is funded with US$1 billion. These countries are already collaborating on standard setting and Japan will soon launch a similar Industrial Value Chain Initiative.




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