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    NAA Update: NAA Annual Dinner & Awards, plus other 2013 events

    Time is running out to book a place at the main NAA event of the year, the Annual Awards Dinner, and there are also two other events taking place before the year is out, including the opportunity to see how some of the world’s leading performance tyres are made, at a Pirelli factory tour.

    We now have well over 200 people attending the NAA Annual Dinner & Awards on 6 November at Carden Park – if you don’t yet have a ticket, book it now with Zoe, as they are selling fast!

    We have two other events for the remainder of this year, our Members Networking Meeting that will be held at Pirelli, Carlisle on 20 November, and also a Business Excellence Members networking meeting that will be held in Chorley on 5 December.

    While I appreciate that Carlisle can be a long way to travel, I have been fascinated on the tours that I have had of this tyre manufacturing facility and we will also have the opportunity to hear more about their successful RGF application and see the outcome for ourselves.

    Our Business Excellence network has grown significantly during the last three months, so I am hoping to see a bumper attendance at our meeting in December; as well as being able to hear about how Business Excellence has supported a number of companies, it’s an ideal opportunity for networking and hearing about other topics of interest.

    The recently announced figures for car registrations is good news, with private sales being 52%, and the highest level since the end of the scrappage scheme. European sales are at the lowest level since consolidated records began in 1990, although the rate of decline has reduced; there has been some growth in Spain thanks to the introduction of a scrappage scheme. For commercial vehicles, Europe is at the lowest for 10 years and there has been a reduction of 10% from August 2012 to August 2013; however there has been some growth in the UK.

    Interestingly the number of recorded jobs in the Automotive sector has increased by 5,000, which means that the employment levels have returned to 2008, experience has shown that it is a leading indicator for output value which will hopefully increase in the coming months. Another interesting fact is that the value of cars that we export has increased by 9% in the last year.

    Please watch for an Automotive Council Supply Chain survey; there will be two surveys, one for VMs & Tier 1s and one for the remainder of the supply chain. Make sure you complete it as the aim is to have targeted matchmaking, focussed on commodities and locality.

    I look forward to seeing you at one, if not more, of these three events before the end of the year. Please take the opportunity to come and speak to one of the NAA staff or Board Members at the events – we are always interested in how we can make the NAA more effective and how we can better meet your needs with our limited resources. On that note, the best way for us to develop our services to North West companies is for you to become a paid member of NAA – if you are not currently a full member, then please speak to myself or Zoe to sign-up!

    Carol Holden

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