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    NAA Update: There are lots of interesting events coming up, please ensure that these dates are in your diary

    There are lots of events coming up that you should put in your diaries, including the next Business Excellence Networking Meeting at Mini Gears, a ‘support update’ in conjunction with the SMMT, a conference about innovation at Bentley, another Business Excellence Networking Meeting at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power, the International Festival of Business, and a conference about exporting to Malaysia

    We are already into February, where did January go? I know that for me, part of it disappeared with germs, so I apologise if I haven’t responded to your emails as it has been a bit like the Harry Potter owl post scene with the volume that I have received in January!

    Are you looking for new markets for your products? If so, have you considered Malaysia; both Proton and Daihatsu are based in Malaysia and the bilateral agreement that our government has signed with them means that not only will UKTI support you in investigating your options, but you will also receive significant support from BAe Systems both locally and in-region. They are particularly interested in supporting companies with an Automotive-related background so either make contact with myself or better still attend the UKTI /BAe systems Malaysia conference at Old Trafford on 26 February; details are available via our website link to:

    Over the last month we have been busy planning events across the year, so please ensure that you either register or get the dates in your diary for the next three months:

    • 18 February: Business Excellence Networking Meeting at Mini Gears, Stockport.
    • 5 March: Joint meeting with SMMT and MAS at DW Stadium, Wigan. This will be a support update including case studies from local companies who have been successful with a variety of support opportunities available.
    • 29 April: Joint meeting with NW Texnet, North West Aerospace Alliance, Creative Lancashire and the Design Council on why innovation is important and a key for growth in all companies. This will be held at Bentley Motors and promises to have some thought provoking speakers.

    Looking further ahead, you need to also reserve 13 June for what looks to be one of our most exciting Business Excellence Networking Meetings that we have held. It will be based at the Cholmondeley Pageant of Power and will be focused on motorsport.  The ticket for the event will include access to the day’s activity on the Friday and there will also be discounted opportunities for you for the remainder of the Pageant’s events.

    Similarly it has been a busy month working on activities for the International Festival of Business, more about that in the following month, but the key item for you to action now is to register yourself on the IFB website for the IFB Business Club to ensure that you keep abreast of what is happening for the six week festival period and also to maximise your opportunities during IFB. It’s free to register, the link is, and then select the article about the Business Club to understand the offering. See more information in the separate article in this newsletter.

    Last month’s newsletter produced a larger than normal number of bounce-backs, where individuals did not receive the email; when following it through with one Board Member, it appeared that they had a new security system on their email system and our email had become blocked. Therefore please make sure that you have z.desoer@nwautoalliance in your Outlook contacts to minimise the chance of it being blocked as spam. Please also mention it to your colleagues and friends to ensure that we can maximise our circulation.

    One final item is that although UK car manufacturing is on a high, the opposite is true in Australia, where car making is to cease completely due to the volumes being uneconomic, with Toyota and Ford pulling out, joining Australia’s only one domestic brand – Holden, a subsidiary of General Motors, and, to my knowledge, no relation. Sadly, this brings to an end a 100 year history of car making in Australia.

    Carol Holden, Chief Executive


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