SMMT reports new car demand level in July after positive start to 2016

New car demand level in July after positive start to 2016

• Passenger car demand sees small increase in July as UK registrations rose by 0.1%.
• Demand for AFVs remains healthy up 24.7% but still small market share.
• Monthly car registrations level off after record 2015 and strong early 2016 growth.

Thursday 4 August, 2016 UK new car registrations experienced a moderate increase in July, up 0.1% for the month, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). 1,599,159 new cars have been registered so far this year, putting demand in the year-to-date 2.8% higher than for the same period in 2015 following a strong first quarter.
July followed the trend seen throughout this year whereby lower private registrations were offset by fleet purchases, which increased by 5.0% this month. Demand for alternatively fuelled vehicles remained remarkably strong with 24.7% more registrations compared with the same month in 2015.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “After a healthy start to 2016 and record registrations in 2015 the market is showing signs of cooling. The automotive market is a vital part of the British economy and it’s important government delivers the economic conditions which instil business and consumer confidence. With low interest rates, attractive finance options and exciting new models coming to the showrooms, the market still has lots to offer customers.”

Source: SMMT, for the full graphs and further information please click here 

To read the 2016 SMMT Sustainability Report please click here


Innovate UK – The Global Spotlight on Innovation, 2-3rd November 2016, Manchester

The global spotlight on UK innovation is back and promises to be better than ever. Innovate UK be bringing together 3,000 of the UK’s most exciting innovators to connect with export opportunities, investors, collaborators and the research base.

Innovate 2016 is jointly hosted by UKTI and Innovate UK. Now in its eighth year, the event is a global spotlight on innovation.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is the UK’s innovation agency. Innovate UK works with people, companies and partner organisations to find and drive the science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy – delivering productivity, new jobs and exports. Our aim at Innovate UK is to keep the UK globally competitive in the race for future prosperity.

UK Trade & Investment

UKTI is the Government Department that helps UK companies succeed globally and assists overseas companies to bring investment to the UK.


In addition to showcasing the cream of the UK’s innovation talent, the two-day programme will feature inspirational keynote speakers; practical workshops and export focused seminars; 1-2-1 meetings with world-leading experts to help you explore research partnerships, export opportunities and investment; and the business Support Zone which will highlight the breadth of Government support for innovation and internationalisation.

This page will be updated regularly with the Innovate 2016 Programme.

Please check back soon for more information.

Click here to see the highlights from last year’s event.

To register for the event, please click here

Major US defence contracts boost engineering giant’s turnaround plan

SHEFFIELD Forgemasters has secured export defence contracts worth more than $30m (£23m) in a major boost for the company which has been under economic pressure after the collapse of the offshore oil and gas market and in the wake of a global economic downturn.

The engineering specialist has confirmed orders for a sequence of castings for the US OHIO submarine replacement programme, which it said builds on its many years’ experience of supply into the British defence industry.

No further information has been released about the order specifics.

Dr Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Sheffield Forgemasters International, said: “These orders provide a boost for our Brightside Lane operations as we work towards our business turnaround plan.

“Work has already started on these orders and the first parts will complete in 2016 with another tranche of components anticipated to follow in 2017, providing work for our Melt Shop, Foundry and Machine Shops. These are complex components and require detailed modeling and manufacturing to highly specific tolerances.”

The project has been granted full approval by the UK Government.

Dr Honeyman added: “One of the company aims is to broaden our market reach for defence contracts, which we have unparalleled experience in servicing.

“We hope to build on the success of these orders as our teams search out greater opportunities for product diversification and services in a challenging global market.”

The orders mark one of Forgemasters’ largest business wins for almost two years and follow a January announcement for a £1m US contract for Ajax-Ceco press components.

Dr Honeyman continued: “Our sales teams are currently working with customers on a variety of potential projects including those within the power generation, defence, civil nuclear, materials processing, offshore and tidal power industries. We are hopeful that there will be conversions for a number of these enquiries as we work through the next 12 months.

“We have confidence in the future of this business and we are fully committed to working through this transitionary period as we restructure and invest for greater efficiencies.

“Sheffield Forgemasters remains a world-leader in the delivery of the most challenging large-scale engineering projects and these orders are testament to the skills within these walls and the diligence of our sales team in the face of extremely tough competition.”

Source: Rachel Covill, The Business Desk, 9th August 2016


LEP cash to create jobs at start-up

A Rotherham start-up has secured investment of more than £3m, including money from the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), which is expected to help create jobs.

On a visit to the site of the new BA Clic factory, new Northern Powerhouse minister Andrew Percy pledged £440,000 funding on behalf of the LEP, as part of a total overall investment of more than £3m.

The money will create a minimum of 40 jobs and secures the go-ahead for a new factory to enable the business to develop and manufacture a new range of products targeting the kitchen and bedroom furniture industry.

Percy said: “This government remains committed to rebalancing the economy through creating a Northern Powerhouse, by devolving power to those on the ground and giving them the tools to get on with the job.”

LEP chairman Sir Nigel Knowles (pictured) added: “It is great news that Andrew Percy is here in Sheffield City Region to mark Yorkshire Day and within his first couple of weeks as Northern Powerhouse Minister.

“This comes just days after he signed-off the legislation to put in place a mayor in our city region which is another step to making our unique devolution deal a reality. I would like to thank him personally for this swift and unequivocal act.

“This deal brings decision-making for our economic future closer to the residents and businesses within the region – one pot of £1.3bn.

“This ensures continuity for our private and public sector partners, and the ability to plan ahead to ensure that the whole region flourishes for small and medium-sized enterprises, family companies and some of the world’s largest corporations – all of whom contribute to our ongoing success.

“It is exactly this continuity and certainty that the deal offers that enables me to announce our £440,000 investment in BA clic which will create 40 jobs and £2.5m of private sector investment to support onshoring of production in this innovative, Rotherham-based SME which manufactures kitchen components.”

The Unlocking Business Investment programme, run by Sheffield City Region has already succeeded in generating £200 million of direct investment, resulting in nearly 2,500 jobs.

Source: Laurence Kilgannon, Insider Media, 2nd August 2016