Champion automotive manufacturing in the UK· Government policy that supports growth and continued partnership through the Automotive Council will help the industry play a vital role in the UK economy.· Proactive engagement from government and continued investment from industry will ensure that home-grown suppliers are strengthened and internationally competitive. Create a transformed business environment· A longer term attitude towards vehicle taxation and demand-led incentives must be pursued to enable business confidence and an internationally competitive business environment.· Government must use available funding more effectively, providing support towards the economic recovery. DownloadClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Looking beyond 6 May, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has urged the next government to continue and enhance its support for the UK automotive industry, transforming the business environment through targeted incentives championing research and development and maximising the country’s skills resources.“The UK motor industry has managed to sustain vital industrial capability through the recession and is now looking to exploit a strengthening economic recovery,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive. “The UK has a great opportunity to strengthen its automotive supply base and capitalise on the transition to ultra-low carbon vehicle technologies. The next government must commit to continuing the work of the Automotive Council and actively support measures to improve skills, encourage more investment in R&D and re-build business and consumer confidence.” Support research, design and development· The automotive sector invests over £1 billion in R&D each year in the UK, and is the largest investor in R&D in Europe. Government should support this investment through clear and targeted incentives to attract further investment.· Government should make the UK R&D tax credit system more flexible by providing immediately payable credit on a temporary basis. Key measures highlighted in the SMMT manifesto include: Close the skills gap· A refreshed and more focused approach to skills and training is essential to ensuring the UK remains globally competitive.· An increase in investment for science, technology, engineering and maths is necessary to open up employment opportunities within the automotive sector.Download the SMMT Manifesto. Directing its manifesto at the next government, SMMT outlines the key issues that will affect the UK motor industry in the near future and advises on policy direction to maximise the industry’s potential. The automotive sector is a vital part of the UK economy with a turnover of £52 billion, exports amounting to 10% of the UK total and supporting over 800,000 jobs and is at the forefront of low-carbon technology.