The next SMMT event will be at the Conservative Party Conference on 5 October 2009.Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) The event focused on the role of the UK automotive industry in a low carbon economy, highlighting the need to support the sector as a strategic and essential part of the UK economy and wider low carbon agenda. Further discussions focused on low carbon automotive manufacturing in a more balanced economy, taking into account the recommendations of the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT) report. The conference provided a good opportunity to demonstrate SMMT’s continued commitment to engage with key politicians and stakeholders to ensure the automotive sector receives the recognition it deserves. ‘The role of the UK automotive industry in a low carbon economy’ was the subject of an SMMT-hosted debate held with MPs and key decision-makers at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton last night (28 September 2009).The event, held in conjunction with Unite the Union, featured a panel discussion with Ian Lucas MP, minister for business and regulatory reform, SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt, joint general secretary of Unite Tony Woodley and Richard Howitt MEP. Business secretary Lord Mandelson joined the debate to reiterate his support for the UK automotive sector, highlighting government’s commitment to the industry through the extension of the scrappage incentive scheme. Lord Mandelson also said he hoped more approvals of loans or loan guarantees would soon be made under the Automotive Assistance Programme, including finance for larger projects.