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    NAA Update: UK vehicle production tops one million units in 2023, up 17% in best year since 2019

    UK vehicle production topped one million units in 2023 and £23.7 billion of private and public investment commitments were announced, demonstrating that the sector is well and truly on the road to recovery.

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

    I want to begin this month’s newsletter with the key headlines on 2023 UK vehicle production data that were released last month by the SMMT.

    • UK vehicle production tops one million units, up 17.0% in best year since 2019.
    • 905,117 cars and 120,357 commercial vehicles made, with record electrified model output.
    • £23.7 billion of private and public investment commitments announced in 2023.

    A great performance on many fronts, that demonstrates that the sector is well and truly on the road to recovery and that we must now ramp up the EV supply chain and deliver a return on these investments.

    Given the complexity of global supply chains and geopolitical volatility, last month’s launch of government’s Critical Imports and Supply Chains Strategy was welcome. The strategy will support manufacturing agility and responsiveness.

    In other exciting news for the sector in our region, SMMT Regional Forum will be returning to the North West in Liverpool in June – see Dates for your diary later in this newsletter.  I look forward to seeing you at the event.

    In other sector news, the APC has launched TDAP Wave 8 – you have until 27 February to get your applications in – full details can be found here.

    APC has also launched a Collaborative R&D Competition – the aim of this competition is to support collaborative R&D projects that design, develop, and manufacture technology. These proposals will work towards delivering zero-emission on-vehicle technologies for on or off-road vehicles, including two-wheelers – you will find the key stages and full details here – application deadline is 13 March.

    Elsewhere in this month’s newsletter, you can read about some of the latest developments from a selection of our other members, including Burnley College, Element Materials Technology, Melling Performance Springs, Warwick Acoustics, University of Liverpool, University of Salford and more…

    We kicked off our 2024 networking events at the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME), University of Bolton on 24 January

    As the only one of its kind in the UK, this £13 million purpose-built, state-of-the-art facility boasts a range of capabilities including:

    • Wind-tunnel testing
    • Computer-aided design
    • Computational analysis using industry-standard software
    • Data analysis

    Also housed within the facility is the Electric Vehicle and Sustainability Technology Lab (EVST), which is focused on the development of more sustainable and environmentally-friendly vehicles – you can read the full event review later in the e-news.

    Dates for your diary – NAA Events / Webinars:

    22 February / 12:00 – 16:00 

    NAA Networking Event, Stellantis, Ellesmere Port (FULL – Contact Zoe for reserve list)

    7 March / 11:00 – 12:00

    Webinar with University of Salford – Developing Digital Skills: The critical ingredients in driving transformational change.

    13 March / 12:00 – 15:30

    NAA Networking Event, North of England Robotics Innovation Centre (NERIC), University of Salford.

    Full details here.

    28 March / 11:00 – 12:00

    NAA Members’ Virtual Roundtable – 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:

    BridgeAI Transportation Sector Workshop

    STFC Hartree Centre, Sci-Tech Daresbury

    Wednesday 13 March

    Discover how AI can be applied to increase productivity, boost innovation and create new solutions for the Transport sector. In this workshop, we’ll discuss the challenges of AI adoption specific to the Automotive, Aerospace and Maritime industries and how we can collaborate to solve them – full details can be found later in the e-news.

    SMMT Regional Forum North West


    Tuesday 4 June

    SMMT Regional Forum provides a platform for discussion on the opportunities and challenges for the automotive industry in the region and regularly attracts 200+ senior automotive delegates, from a wide range of companies including vehicle manufacturers, global and local suppliers.

    This is a must attend event for those looking to network with key contacts within the UK automotive industry.

    The sessions will highlight key industry insights for the region and how companies are responding to the need to develop the UK’s EV capability. 

    Registration for the event is now open and is FREE to SMMT members. You will need your company’s SMMT membership number to register for the event.

    You will be given the option to book a stand when you register online.

    SMMT Member Exhibition Space: £700 + VAT per stand (early bird rate £600 +VAT)

    SMMT Non-Member Exhibition Space: £1,250 + VAT per stand (early bird rate £999 +VAT)

    Full details here.


    Wednesday 4 September & Thursday 5 September 2024

    If you are interested in exhibiting at Cenex, there are many stands available, ranging from smaller shell scheme stands to larger indoor/outdoor stands. If you are interested in showcasing a vehicle, there are spaces outside on the steering pad with ride & drive opportunities. 

    To view stand prices for 2024, please click here.

    If you are interested in taking a stand at the event, please register your interest here.

    National Manufacturing Day

    Thursday 26 September

    Make UK is spearheading the campaign and is inviting every manufacturing company across the UK to take part in this national day of celebration. The idea is simple – manufacturers just have to invite a section of the local community into their business.  Showcasing first-hand the breadth of diverse and well-paid career opportunities on offer to schools, colleges, friends and family, and local job seekers – full details can be found later in the e-news.

    Global Manufacturing Technology Show


    Wednesday 27 November & Thursday 28 November 2024

    A brand-new exhibition and conference, taking place in the northern heart of UK manufacturing.

    The two-day event, at Exhibition Centre Liverpool will connect the manufacturing sector with hundreds of innovative thought-leading companies whose sole purpose is to help them navigate the ever-evolving world of modern manufacturing. Further details can be found here


    For any training requirements, please contact Zoe.

    Finally, if any of your colleagues aren’t already receiving this e-news, and you think it may be of interest to them, please ask them to sign up with Zoe.

    Paul Jones


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