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Collaborative models hold the key to success

Following the release of the NatWest UK Automotive PMI® report, Richard Hill, Head of Automotive & Manufacturing at NatWest, blogs about new collaborative models in the Automotive sector.

The challenge for the UK automotive sector is to chart a course through the intense industry headwinds that are so clearly evident in the report findings. At NatWest, where we are committed to playing our role to support the automotive sector, we believe that new collaborative models hold the key to success.

At this critical juncture for automotive sector growth and investment, we must accelerate efforts to collaborate across the critical elements of the auto sector ecosystem - original equipment manufacturer (OEMs), supply chain, policymakers, investment and finance communities. These connections will help ensure that the UK can deliver the industrial capacity, infrastructure and regulatory framework to maintain and build on its leading role in the future global automotive sector ecosystem. #

The prevailing malaise will eventually be seen as a cyclical issue for automotive manufacturers, albeit a slowdown that has taken hold more quickly and become more widespread internationally than first anticipated. 

We have seen the softening of automotive demand amplified by an escalation of policy uncertainty worldwide. Most notably, diesel emissions regulations, changes to the planned speed of transition to carbon neutrality in Europe and new US-China trade tariffs. 

The resilience of the UK automotive sector is well proven, with a track-record of leading routes to recovery and advancement. Manufacturers have faced and overcome ‘perfect storms’ before, most recently in the wake of the 2008/09 global financial crisis. The current storm is as significant with different factors at play therefore requiring new and innovative solutions.

The coming global shift towards electric powertrains is opening up huge rewards for value creation across the supply chain, while the technologies underpinning the future of mobility may create new geographic hubs for industrial innovation.

It is my firm belief that the UK is well placed to thrive in an environment of technology-driven automotive trends, but we must act fast and think collaboratively to maximize the opportunities ahead.


Find out more and access the full NatWest UK Automotive PMI®, which reports that a sustained drop in the UK automotive sector output highlights the need for collaborative solutions. The report is based on responses from UK automotive sector manufacturers and benchmarked against equivalent indices for Europe and the rest of the world.

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