SMMT meets Conservatives at party conferenceSMMT hosted a lunch event at the Conservative party conference in Manchester on 5 October 2009. Conservative MPs, MEPs, London assembly members, and prospective parliamentary candidates met SMMT members to discuss the role of the UK automotive industry in a low carbon economy. Over 50 attendees joined members of the Conservative front bench, including party chairman Eric Pickles MP and shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers MP to discuss the latest industry issues. The lunch completed a series of successful fringe events at the three main party conferences designed to promote the automotive industry by engaging with key politicians and stakeholders.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Mark Prisk MP, shadow minister for business, gave a keynote speech outlining Conservative business policy in relation to the automotive sector. Mr Prisk welcomed the publication of the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT) report, noting that the Conservatives wish to form a closer, strategic partnership with the automotive industry to help make the UK a leading exporter of value added manufacturing products. SMMT president Joe Greenwell spoke on behalf of industry, highlighting the difficult year the automotive sector has experienced as well as the much needed boost for the industry through the scrappage scheme. Mr Greenwell explained that it could take until next summer before modest growth returns to the market. He also outlined industry’s full commitment to work in partnership with political decision-makers to deliverthe recommendations laid out by the NAIGT report, ensuring a prosperous future for the UK automotive industry.