The torrents did NOT stop play at SMMT North!
The supportive body of the UK Motor Industry, the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders Ltd (SMMT), hosts several events throughout every year that both Iain Robertson and Gareth Butterfield endeavour to attend, one of the more important of which is SMMT North.
All professionally managed organisations need associations, or societies, to which they ally themselves and become members. In the UK, the SMMT monitors the entire automotive sector, which covers everything from the tiniest nut and bolt to the largest truck and trailer. It also lobbies parliament to ensure that its members receive a fair deal, while safeguarding their interests and securing the future competitiveness of a near £100bn enterprise.
Apart from major UK shows, such as the Commercial Vehicle Show and Automechanika, SMMT also organises three Test Days for motoring journalists; one held at Millbrook (Bedfordshire), with two satellite events, Wetherby (North Yorkshire) and Oakley Hall (Hampshire). Due to the broad range of new vehicles being launched every year, it is often impossible to sample all of them and the Test Days provide both an opportunity to network with colleagues from the industry, fellow motoring writers and to drive some cars that may have been missed.
No less than 28 brands were represented this year at Wetherby, with 53 new cars across all makes and models. With a turnout of more than 100 transport writers, it was a busy day. From a personal standpoint, having missed the UK launch opportunities for the latest DS3 Crossback, Ford Ranger Raptor, Nissan Navara, Bentley Continental GT, Peugeot 508 SW GT-Line, Porsche 911 Carrera 4S and Ssangyong Korando, I have now been able to drive them and you will see the results on this website’s pages over the next few weeks.
Beset by biblical downpours that lasted all-day, while the opportunity for bespoke photography was rendered impossible, the weather did not reduce the determination and enthusiasm to drive as many vehicles as time would permit. The driving routes around Wetherby allow a useful blend of nearby A1M motorway and a selection of quiet country roads upon which to generate opinions on the vehicles sampled. It is these professional opinions that are intended as an information service, to help you to decide which car you might desire to meet your future transport requirements.
Conclusion: As a practical information source for some of your motoring needs, we can assure you that our growing archive of the latest cars and light commercial vehicles, allied to news from around the important UK Motor Industry, is not only the most up-to-date but also the most concise.