More than 90% of the companies currently operating within the British car industry wish to stay in the European Union, according to a new survey released this month. The automotive industry has always been a fervent supporter of the country's current role in the EU, and has continually highlighted the benefits of access to the single market since Prime Minister David Cameron first threw Britain's membership into doubt by promising an in/out referendum by the end of 2017, should the conservatives end up winning the next election. Currently, the British car industry employs approximately 730,000 people, and generates around 60 billion pounds per year in sales.æ During 2013, the sector enjoyed a renaissance and bucked the current weak European trends in order to hit a six-year production high. The survey, which took in data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, showed that 92 per cent of companies in the industry considered the 28-country bloc to have played a big part in their previous year's success.æ Furthermore, 70 per cent of those surveyed believed that withdrawing from the EU would be damaging to both their medium and long-term futures. SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes said that 'Being part of a strong Europe is critical for future successî. The EU membership benefits the motor industry in a number of different ways, including providing access to the single market, offering free movement of labour and also providing the ability to influence regulations across the whole regions. Only 3 per cent of car manufacturers surveyed said that they wished to leave the EU, and 5 per cent offered no opinion on the matter. A number of companies have already expressed concern at the prospect of leaving the EU.æ Carmakers Ford and Nissan, plane maker and finance firm Airbus and a number of other leading British Industrial figures _ including industry heavyweight Martin Sorrell and Roger Carr, chairman of defence giant BAE.æ The latter two in particular have had a huge impact in fronting the campaign to stay in the EU.