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    All the latest news from the SMMT – with a focus on the UK Supply Chain

    International Automotive Summit event review; SMMT Unveils UK’s Global Leadership Of Specialist Car Manufacturing; Latest UK Automotive Report Shows Strong Economic And Environmental Performance; Auto Industry Demonstrates Commitment To UK Supply Chain; ‘Automotive Supply Chain Growth Constrained By Lack Of Finance’ Says SMMT; SMMT Open Forum To Explore Growth Opportunities For UK Suppliers.

    International Automotive Summit event review

    Board Members from BMW and Bosch addressed a 250-strong audience of the automotive industry’s most influential leaders, meeting to discuss the key issues effecting the future growth of the sector at the UK’s most high-profile industry Summit

    The SMMT International Automotive Summit featured more than 40 speakers from automotive, academia, government, new technology, social media, retail, supply chain and the finance community. Leading figures from these sectors concentrated on the future potential of UK automotive, challenges to be addressed and how to capitalise on changing trends in technology and consumer preferences.

    Keynote speeches started the day, with BMW’s Ian Robertson and Bosch’s Peter Tyroller addressing capacity crowds.

    Dr Ian Robertson (HonDSc), Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW:

    “BMW manufacturing follows major sales markets, the UK is BMW Group’s fourth largest global market and as such, we will continue to invest in our operations the UK. CO2 legislation is set to have a massive effect on the automotive industry and BMW will build new three-cylinder engines for its all-new i8 hybrid sports car in the UK at Hams Hall. The UK industry is going through a very strong period, boosted by encouraging industry and government collaboration. While government is working to rebalance the economy to manufacturing, we can’t afford to be complacent if we are to ensure longevity.”

    Peter Tyroller, Member, Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH:

    “We need a balanced approach with regard to CO2 legislation to ensure Europe remains competitive in the global automotive industry. While electric and hybrid vehicles are certainly an important part of our future, internal combustion will play a major role for years to come. Bosch recognises the expertise of UK engineers across all technologies and has plans to dedicate more resources to development and engineering services in the UK.

    In addition to these industry keynote speakers, the SMMT Summit closed with Business Secretary Vince Cable describing how government is committed to supporting the sector and ensuring sustained growth.

    Ahead of the Summit, SMMT announced that UK car manufacturing could surpass the 1972 record of 1.92 million cars produced, with over two million units rolling off domestic manufacturing lines in 2015.

    Images and video of the keynote speakers are available at


    SMMT Unveils UK’s Global Leadership Of Specialist Car Manufacturing

    SMMT has launched a report that demonstrates the value of the UK’s unique low volume car manufacturing industry, highlighting some of the challenges these companies face and, importantly, the opportunities for growth that can be achieved with industry, government and other stakeholders working together to support a world-renowned British success story.

    “The UK is home to more specialist car manufacturers than any other country, including some of the world’s most iconic and prestigious brands,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “These marques boast a strong brand heritage, enviable motorsport pedigree and display a world leading use of innovative new technologies.”

    SMMT’s report highlights how specialist car manufacturers inspire diversity in the marketplace, provide highly-skilled jobs, positively contribute to net exports and are often at the leading edge of product design and innovation. The UK’s niche vehicle manufacturing is often associated with sports cars, but the sector also produces small city cars, taxis, accessible and adapted vehicles, limousines and hearses, highlighting the wide range of specialist vehicles built in the UK.

    To launch the report, SMMT hosted a panel discussion featuring Michael van der Sande (Chief Commercial Officer, Aston Martin), Antony Sheriff (Managing Director, McLaren Automotive) and Phil Abbott (Managing Director, Radical Sportscars) speaking about engineering expertise, heritage and innovation within their own specialist manufacturing companies.

    Following the panel discussion and Q&A, the Business Minister, Mark Prisk MP, delivered a speech in which he acknowledged the contribution of the UK’s specialist car manufacturers to the UK automotive sector, and the potential business opportunities.

    Business Minister Mark Prisk said, “We have one of the most diverse automotive sectors in the world. Although dominated by global vehicle manufacturers, we have many strong and thriving specialist and niche marques. With production up, exports up and exceeding the value of imports, automotive is a UK success story”.

    To download a copy of the report, Specialist car manufacturing – a uniquely British success story, visit the SMMT website’s UK automotive publications section.

    In preparing the report, SMMT collated statistics from 20 of the largest specialist vehicle manufacturers in the UK. Each represents a pinnacle of innovation, prestige, performance and engineering skill, making a significant economic and social impact on the industry.

    To mark the report launch, an exhibition featuring a cross-section of UK automotive’s specialist car manufacturing expertise has been assembled at SMMT which includes:

    • Aston Martin One-77 – Just 77 of these £1.2 million cars will be built. They have a full carbon fibre monocoque chassis, a handcrafted aluminium body, and a naturally-aspirated 7.3-litre V12 engine.
    • Bentley Mulsanne cutaway instrument panel – A unique look inside the multimedia system of the company’s flagship model. The Mulsanne is handcrafted over a nine-week build process at Bentley’s headquarters in Crewe.
    • McLaren Automotive Carbon MonoCell – The carbon fibre chassis tub of the MP4-12C, the first production car wholly designed and built by McLaren since the iconic F1 supercar.
    • Morgan Plus E – A prototype electric version of the classic Morgan, using a lightweight aluminium chassis.
    • Radical SR3 SL – Radical is the world’s second largest race car manufacturer. The SR3 SL is its first fully type approved road car, meeting Euro 5 emissions standards.



    Latest UK Automotive Report Shows Strong Economic And Environmental Performance

    • Automotive manufacturing turnover up more than 12% to £55 billion.
    • Analysts forecast all-time high manufacturing volume of two million vehicles by 2015.
    • Export volumes up 14% to a record 81.6% of total output, valued at over £30bn.
    • Combined car and CV output up 5.1%, while per vehicle energy use drops 14%.
    • Manufacturing waste sent to landfill, down almost 20% per vehicle versus 2010.
    • Total combined water use drops more than 10%.
    • Manufacturing CO2 emissions down by more than 13% per vehicle produced.


    Recent figures show that UK automotive reported record turnover for the sector, up more than 12% to £55 billion, with exports at record levels and increased investment across the industry. Independent forecasts suggest UK automotive is on course to hit all-time record manufacturing levels by 2015, while manufacturing plants continued to make considerable progress in reducing their environmental impact.

    Data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders’ (SMMT) 13th Annual Sustainability Report showed significant improvements against all key environmental performance indicators, while ensuring sustained investment and growth in manufacturing output.

    “Automotive is continuing to lead the country’s economic recovery, increasing manufacturing output, delivering record turnover and exporting a greater proportion of cars than ever before, all while reducing our environmental footprint. In a tough economic climate, the automotive sector has continued to perform above expectations, demonstrating the significant role it has to play in a re-balanced economy,” said SMMT Chief Executive, Paul Everitt.

    “Our industry is at the forefront of the drive to a low carbon economy attracting investment in the research, development and manufacture of low and ultra-low carbon technologies, creating new jobs and growth opportunities throughout the supply chain and introducing attractive products that are reducing transport emissions as well,” he continued.

    The new report reveals how the automotive industry consistently invests in young people with the latest figures showing a rise of around 12% in engineering apprenticeships in 2011. Initiatives such as See Inside Manufacturing are key to informing young people and their teachers and careers advisers of the rewarding range of engineering careers open to them in automotive. It also motivates young people to consider taking up a STEM subject (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) to ensure UK automotive continues to attract bright and highly-skilled young talent.

    To download SMMT’s 13th Annual Sustainability Report, go to To read the latest announcements on investment, manufacturing expansion, new vehicle models and employment within the UK’s automotive sector, go to


    Auto Industry Demonstrates Commitment To UK Supply Chain

    Over 20 UK-based vehicle manufacturers and high-value Tier 1 suppliers gathered at a dedicated supply chain networking event to meet more than 90 automotive component companies, to discuss sourcing opportunities that will strengthen and grow the UK’s £4.5 billion supply base. With more than 200 one-to-one meetings, SMMT’s ‘Meet the Buyer’ event is the largest business building event of its kind, demonstrating industry’s commitment to boosting local component sourcing and providing a mechanism to forge new business partnerships.

    “£5.6 billion of investment has been committed to UK automotive during the last 18 months and is creating major new growth opportunities for component companies across the country with vehicle manufacturers looking to secure local suppliers to support new model production,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “By sourcing closer to their UK plants, manufacturers and major Tier 1 companies can benefit from reduced logistics costs and more open and flexible relationships with automotive suppliers. Events like ‘Meet the Buyer’ will help to facilitate greater local component sourcing, so more of the value of these products is created and retained here in the UK.”

    The UK automotive supply chain has the capacity to provide more than 80% of all component types required for vehicle assembly, but vehicle manufacturers are only purchasing between 60-75% of their manufacturing requirements within the UK. A recent report, commissioned by SMMT, highlighted that there is strong ‘appetite for growth’ within the UK supply base, with almost 60% of auto suppliers confirming business growth plans to meet new demand and close the domestic sourcing gap.

    Vehicle manufacturers attending the SMMT ‘Meet the Buyer’ event as ‘buying’ organisations included Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and TATA Motors. Tier 1 supplier companies attending include Aisin Europe, Bosch, CAB Automotive, Calsonic Kansei, Faurecia, Futaba Tenneco, Grupo Antolin, IAC Group, Jtekt/Koyo, Kahn Design, Koito, Kostal UK, LuK UK, Mobis Parts, Sanoh UK Manufacturing, and Scorpion Automotive.

    The participating supply chain companies for this event were selected via SMMT’s Automotive Supplier Finder (ASF) database (, a tool designed specifically to match buyers to suppliers based on the UK automotive commodity demand list that was published earlier this year.

    For more information about participating as a buyer or a supplier at future SMMT ‘Meet the Buyer’ events, visit: To find out which automotive commodities buyers at SMMT’s forthcoming event are looking to purchase, download SMMT’s latest UK automotive commodity demand list.


    ‘Automotive Supply Chain Growth Constrained By Lack Of Finance’ Says SMMT

    The growth of automotive supply chain companies is being constrained by restricted access to finance according to a new report published by the Smith Institute, commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

    “With over £5.6 billion pledged to the UK during the last 18 months, there is a ‘window of opportunity’ to strengthen the UK supply chain, creating jobs and prosperity for the long-term,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive.

    “A lack of expertise within the finance sector is holding back growth in the UK automotive industry. Vital opportunities for companies to grow and develop their businesses are being hampered, because banks have not responded quickly enough to the need for local knowledge and sector expertise. There is a unique opportunity to re-build manufacturing capability and capacity in the UK, but it requires industry, finance and government to shift gear and ensure growth businesses get the financial support they need.”

    Offering a unique insight into the relationship between the domestic supply base and the availability of suitable finance products, the report represents the views of over 80 automotive firms operating at every level of the supply chain, as well a range of financial and lending institutions. The findings of the report draw upon comprehensive survey results and detailed case studies compiled from one-to-one interviews with owners and senior managers of automotive firms, including three UK-based vehicle manufacturers and financial experts from some of the largest business banks in the UK.

    The report identified five barriers to growth:

    • A lack of understanding of the automotive sector, within the banks, particularly at a local level and in regions with a number of automotive companies in operation.
    • Funding gaps due to how banks evaluate the total assets owned by a company resulting in suppliers often missing out on the full amount of funding applied for, specifically in relation to finance tooling and capital equipment.
    • Securing finance for tooling development costs due to a focus on the residual value of the machine tool over the long-term asset value it will produce.
    • Reluctance of SMEs, particularly the 37% of which that are family run, to seek external equity over internal cash flow and loan financing.
    • Favourable payment terms offered by vehicle manufacturers to supply companies are often not reflected further down the chain.


    The report also made key recommendations to improve access to finance and support longer-term economic growth:

    • Banks must move quickly to build local automotive expertise and relationships with individual companies seeking finance for growth, particularly in the main areas of the UK where there are clusters of automotive (eg West Midlands, North West, North East and Wales).
    • Banks and vehicle manufacturers should work collaboratively to address the challenges in accessing finance for tooling.
    • Banks need to develop of a specialised product and support packages for the automotive sector, based on a better understanding of the growth opportunities.
    • A series of ‘meet the funder’ events should be arranged to allow banks and non-bank lenders that are interested in automotive investment, to meet companies seeking finance to discuss growth opportunities.
    • A cross-industry automotive ‘Tooling for Growth Taskforce’ should be established, which provides a platform for banks and vehicle manufacturers to explore more innovative solutions that would allow SMEs to access more finance, particularly for tooling.
    • Government should create a more enduring framework of support that encourages greater investment and finance availability for business seeking to grow.


    Companies reported that many financial institutions remained wary of the industry as a lending opportunity, despite the UK manufacturing sector performing strongly, exports achieving record levels and recently pledged investment confirming the long-term plans to base operations in the country.

    Building on a separate Smith Institute report released last year, the study highlights how improved dialogue between automotive companies and financial institutions could help to boost economic growth and rebalance the economy, if the two sectors work together to address the type of finance offered to businesses. Identifying SMEs in particular, the report reveals how smaller companies find it difficult to target banks for their lending needs as many institutions were unclear about the key sectors they support and often decisions take far too long.

    The recommended cross-industry ‘Tooling for Growth Taskforce’ would form the two-way relationship that is needed to drive progress in the sector. The taskforce would consist of banks and supplier companies representing all tiers of the supply chain (including OEMs), providing a platform to explore more innovative solutions to funding growth, specifically for SMEs in relation to finance packages for tooling-up facilities to meet demand.

    The Smith Institute Report was launched at an event in central London attended by representatives from banking and automotive sectors, government officials and industry stakeholders. A second launch event took place on 20 June 2012 in the West Midlands attended by a wider audience of over 80 industry representatives including UK-based vehicle manufacturers and supply companies from all tiers, regional representatives from the financial sector and local political decision makers.

    Click through the link to access the report –

    For a full copy of the report, contact Kayleigh Lawrence


    SMMT Open Forum To Explore Growth Opportunities For UK Suppliers

    The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has confirmed plans for its next Open Forum event, taking place on 20 September 2012 in the West Midlands.

    Held in Solihull, the free-to-attend event will focus on the future prospects of the UK-based automotive supply chain and explore the current potential to strengthen the supplier base, following the wave of investment pledged by global vehicle manufacturers during the last two years.

    Building on discussions that took place at the last SMMT Open Forum event earlier this year, the first speaker session will explore the work undertaken by the Automotive Council to boost the UK’s £4.8 billion automotive supply network. Leading the presentations will be Richard Parry-Jones, Automotive Council Co-Chair, Jerry Hardcastle (Nissan Europe), Automotive Council Technology Group Chair and Dave Allen (Jaguar Land Rover), Automotive Council Supply Chain Group Acting Chair.

    Speakers will also include Phil Davies, Automotive Analyst for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) who will outline the latest supply chain commodity opportunities in the UK, highlighting the key components that vehicle manufacturers are looking to source locally to support new model programmes.

    Mick Aiers, Purchasing Manager, General Motors will explore the vehicle manufacturers’ perspective, discussing the emerging opportunities for Tier 1 suppliers and how these prospects should filter down to every level of the supply chain, retaining business here in the UK. Concluding the speaker sessions, Ian Henry, Director of AutoAnalysis, will provide an update on the current and future car production trends in Europe.

    Commenting, Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said, “With global vehicle manufacturers pledging more than £5.8 billion to UK automotive during the last two years, there is a now a ‘window of opportunity’ to strengthen the UK supply chain, creating high-value jobs and success for the long-term.

    “SMMT’s Open Forum event underlines the varied opportunities awaiting UK-based suppliers and also provides a mechanism to discuss and facilitate the support needed to ensure that component companies at every level of the chain can access this exciting potential.”

    Previous events have had a capacity audience and it is advised that members and non-members register interest early as delegate numbers are strictly limited. To book your place at SMMT Open Forum on 20 September 2012, contact Claire Balch on or 020 7344 1636.

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham