Unite national officer for the automotive industries Des Quinn said: “Last year was one where the UK automotive sector went into deep freeze because of Covid-19.

“However, as we enter 2021, there are strong signs of hope for the sector, the jewel in the crown of UK manufacturing, with the free trade deal with the EU now agreed and the vaccine programme coming on stream which will, eventually, restore consumer confidence.

“But this ‘thaw’ for the sector desperately needs a joined-up and coherent industrial strategy to ensure that a ‘green industrial revolution’ is in place for the next decade and beyond.

“One of the heartening features has been the best-ever year for electric cars. However, this progress on electrification needs ‘hands on’ government involvement and investment which have been sadly lacking from ministers so far.

“We call on the business secretary Alok Sharma to bring forward a tailored industrial blueprint for the automotive industry to build on what has been so successfully achieved over the last 20 years.”

UK annual new car registrations dropped to 1.63 million in the toughest year for the market since 1992, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). However, it was the best-ever year for electric cars with battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles’ market share up to 10.7 per cent.


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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.