Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)

InfluenceMap Score
D
Performance Band
50%
Organisation Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Sector:
Automotive
Head​quarters:
London, United Kingdom

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) appears to be engaging with mixed positions on a number of important streams of UK automotive climate policy.

While the SMMT has communicated broad support efforts to reduce emissions from road transport in the UK, the organisation does not appear to be fully aligned with the UK government’s commitment to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2050, with SMMT CEO Mike Hawes stating in a February 2018 press release that “Industry shares government’s vision of a zero-emission future” but not specifying a date. Similarly, the SMMT appears to take a mixed position on the need for climate regulation, advocating for a “technology-neutral” approach to government policy and emphasising incentives, infrastructure development and consumer acceptance over more stringent forms of regulation such as sales bans.

In 2017, the SMMT opposed ambitious GHG standards for vehicles in the EU in a submission to the EU Commission and SMMT CEO Mike Hawes characterised the EU’s 2021 target as ‘extremely challenging’ in a January 2020 interview with the Independent newspaper. However, the organisation has also repeatedly called for EU emissions standards for light and heavy vehicles to be kept at EU levels post-Brexit. The SMMT has also supported the UK’s continued participation in the EU ETS in it’s 2020 sustainability report and it’s 2018 submission to the Climate Change Committee’s Call for Evidence on Building a Net Zero Economy. However, the SMMT has also negatively engaged on Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), opposing changes to VED provide greater incentives for battery electric vehicles and to better reflect real world driving conditions.

The SMMT has supported measures to incentivise the uptake of electric vehicles, including supporting the extension to the plug-in car grant and pushing for tax breaks zero and low emissions vehicles in the UK’s March 2020 Budget. The SMMT has also supported purchase incentives and infrastructure investment to encourage the uptake of zero and low emissions vehicles. However, the SMMT has also been a consistent opponent of bans on the sale of new ICE vehicles in the UK. In May 2018 SMMT criticised a proposed 2040 ban on the sale of new ICE vehicles as 'based neither on fact nor substance'. In February 2020, in response to the ICE sales ban being moved forward to 2035, the SMMT’s CEO Mike Hawes accused the government of moving the goalposts. In September 2020, Hawes opposed a newly proposed 2030 date, saying that the ban “could have a devastating impact on the UK automotive industry and jobs.” In a May 2020 letter to Business Secretary Alok Sharma and Chancellor Rishi Sunak reported by the Guardian, the SMMT also supported a scrappage premium which would incentivise the purchase of ICE vehicles. Additionally, a report from the SMMT in September 2021 supported general incentives to promote the uptake of zero-emission vans and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), while an accompanying press release quote from SMMT CEO Mike Hawes, appeared unsupportive of ambitious UK phase-out dates for such vehicles.

The SMMT discloses a list of its members on its website. It does not disclose any information as to the membership of its governing board or key committees. SMMT CEO Mike Hawes is a member of the UK Automotive Council, which was set up in 2009 to “enhance dialogue and strengthen cooperation between the UK government and the automotive sector.”

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures
Communication of Climate Science
0 NS NA NS NS NS NS
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
NS 0 NA -2 NS NS NS
Supporting the Need for Regulations
NS 0 NA 0 NS -1 NS
Support of UN Climate Process
NS NS NA NS NS NS NS
Transparency on Legislation
1 NA NS NA NA NA NS
Carbon Tax
NS -1 NS NS NS -1 NS
Emissions Trading
NS 1 NS 2 NS NS NS
Energy and Resource Efficiency
NS NS NS NS NS NS NS
Renewable Energy
NS NS NS NS NS NA NS
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
0 1 NS 0 0 0 NS
GHG Emission Regulation
NS 0 NS 1 -2 -1 NS
Disclosure on Relationships
1 NA NS NA NA NA NS