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    NAA Update: Launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Plan and the UK Battery Strategy; Rules of Origin extended

    The run-up to Christmas has seen lots of good news for the UK automotive sector, including the launch of the Advanced Manufacturing Plan, with its £4.5 billion for advanced manufacturing, over £2 billion of which goes to automotive; the launch of the UK Battery Strategy; and the European Commission proposal for the current rules of origin for electric vehicle batteries to be extended.

    Welcome to this month’s newsletter and I hope that you are all keeping well.

    Well, it’s certainly been a busy, and positive, last few weeks for our sector as a whole.

    Earlier last month, we heard in the King’s speech about the introduction of the Automated Vehicles Bill, or the “Bill to regulate the use of automated vehicles on roads and in other public places; and to make other provision in relation to vehicle automation”, to give it its full title.

    This was followed later in the month by the launch of the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan, with its £4.5 billion announcement for advanced manufacturing, over £2 billion of which goes to automotive – a clear vote of confidence in our sector as it undergoes the most significant transition in its history. Further details can be found here

    Next we saw the launch of the UK Battery Strategy, which sets out the government’s vision for the UK to achieve a globally competitive battery supply chain by 2030. This includes government plans to invest an additional £38 million to enhance the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre development facilities and a £12 million investment in the Advanced Materials Battery Industrialisation Centre, a new world-class battery materials scale up facility in the West Midlands and North East to bridge the gap between laboratory research and commercial production. Further details can be found here

    And then finally the European Commission proposed to extend the current rules of origin for electric vehicle batteries under the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) until 2027 – and urged every government to back it. The SMMT said extending the rules for three years would avoid a tariff cliff-edge on 1 January 2024, allowing the UK and EU automotive industries to continue to sell EVs into each other’s markets without penalty.

    Elsewhere last month, the UK Auto Industry pledged to address diversity shortfall in our sector, with the Automotive Council committing to increasing the proportion of women in its workforce to 30% by 2030, with improvement critical to success. This pledge comes as the Council launches its best practice guide, Shifting Gears: How to better recruit and retain women in the UK automotive sector, in a bid to drive change from top to bottom. The commitment was announced at the 106th SMMT Annual Dinner in central London with almost 1,000 guests from across industry and government.  Further details can be found here

    In other sector news, the APC has recently produced the Automotive Battery Value Chains Report. This report highlights the challenges for manufacturers and aims to help them to make smarter, more informed plans for the future of automotive battery manufacturing in the UK – to download the report click here.

    Moving on to the membership side, I would like to welcome two new members this month:

    Bolton Plastics Components – established over 45 years ago, the company is a manufacturer of blow moulded products for the automotive industry.

    East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce – a locally-based private sector organisation, owned by the Members and accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce, assisting companies across the area with their productivity, by helping reduce costs, providing qualified advice, training and developing staff, increasing sales and improving profits.

    We will hear more from our new members in the coming months.

    Elsewhere in this month’s newsletter, you can read about some of the latest developments from a selection of our other members, including DHL Supply Chain, Liverpool Life Sciences UTC, OMRON, STFC Hartree Centre and Warwick Acoustics who have just won three Deloitte Fast 50 Growth awards!

    We have had a busy quarter with events: Grant Thornton held a webinar where we discussed battery electric vehicle technology, changing manufacturing processes of BEVs, and also the entrance of the Chinese brands into the UK and Europe – we look forward to their next webinar in 2024.

    Following that, we visited UTAC in Leyland and STFC Hartree Centre in Daresbury – please read further in the e-news for the reviews of these events.

    Dates for your diary – NAA Events / Webinars:

    National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME), 24 January, 12:00 – 15:30 

    Join us for the first networking event of 2024 when we will visit the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME), University of Bolton – full details here.

    NAA Members’ Virtual Roundtable, 1 February, 11:00 – 12:00

    A great way to network from your own desk. 

    If you would like to register for any of the above NAA events and/or webinars, please contact Zoe.  

    Other Events:

    The NVN Members’ Networking Forum 

    National Motor Museum, Gaydon

    30 January 2024 

    This is the perfect opportunity for members, both new and existing, to make vital new business contacts in the UK niche vehicle sector, and the fastest way to engage with our vibrant business community.

    The Forum will feature 2-minute pitches by delegates followed by breakout networking. 

    Making a 2-minute pitch to is not obligatory, but is the best way of ensuring you get the most out of this event and to maximise your networking opportunities and raise the profile of your company or organisation to other network members.

    Demand for places is likely to be high, therefore we are inviting you to register your Expression of Interest for attending and/or pitching at this event. Due to capacity constraints, places are limited to one representative per company or organisation. 

    Submitting an Expression of Interest does not guarantee a place at the event (these will be reviewed and reservations then confirmed). 

    To register your Expression of Interest click here.

    Expo Manufactura 

    Monterrey, Mexico

    30 Jan – 1 Feb 2024

    The Commercial Section of the British Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico, is inviting UK companies to join them completely free in their booth at the most important Advanced Engineering event in Northern Mexico.

    They will have a booth available for UK companies; you can use it as a base for your company, display promotional materials, and engage with potential partners in the market. Alternatively, you can participate virtually by sending them information about your company.

    Expo Manufactura 2024 will take place from 30 January to 1 February 2024, at Cintermex (Monterrey, Mexico). Booth No. 2916.

    If you are interested in having a space at their booth or are interested in promoting your company virtually, please contact:

    Alejandra Rodríguez / /+52 81 1277 3888  or

    Daphne Zul /  /+52 81 8362 2759

    To enter the event, you will need to complete these steps:

    1. Register on the event website, here.

    2. Get your badge at the registration modules at the venue, or print your badge at home and bring it with you to enter.

    For more information about Expo Manufactura, visit the official website.

    Business Breakfast ‘How the Port enables the future sustainable growth of the LCR’

    31 January 2024 / 08:00 – 10:30

    School of Law and Social Justice (event space), University of Liverpool

    The University of Liverpool Management School is delighted to be collaborating with Peel Ports and Growth Platform on this exciting event, looking at how the port enables the future sustainable growth of the LCR.

    Their panel of academics and industry leaders will unravel the pathways to sustainable growth for the LCR, focusing on digitalisation, supply chain, automation in shipping/freight, carbon capture and hydrogen. 

    Register your free place here.


    Professional Development Courses – Reduced rates for NAA Members

    The University of Salford has a dedicated team focused on supporting companies to develop and enhance workforce skills and knowledge; Salford Professional Development (SPD) specialises in developing and delivering short courses specifically for managers through to senior executives.  

    NAA Members will receive reduced fees – to find a full list of courses and further details, please read further in the e-news.

    For all other training requirements, please contact Zoe.

    Finally, I would like to wish you and your families a peaceful, safe and relaxing Christmas and a prosperous new year.

    Paul Jones


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