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    UK automotive supply chain – strengthening of sector is gaining momentum

    Richard Parry Jones took the opportunity to update senior representatives from OEM and supply chain groups on the work of the Automotive Council as part of SMMT’s regular series of Open Forum events that look to develop the UK automotive sector’s supply chain capabilities …

    As Industry Chair of the Automotive Council, Parry Jones outlined his vision for strengthening the automotive supply chain, calling the recent stream of good news from industry a sign that a ‘permanent solution’ to the hollowing-out of the UK supply chain is gaining momentum.

    In his opening speech to over 100 automotive delegates attending the SMMT Open Forum event, which also included speeches from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Steel Automotive, GKN plc and Aisin Europe, he said there was important work being done by the Council to rouse high-level engagement across industry and government.

    Jon Beasley, Group Technology Officer, GKN, outlined the five key work streams identified by the Automotive Council Technology Group, adding that opportunities presented to automotive suppliers had been greatly enhanced by the £250 million of available support in 2011 and more recently by the £9.5 million announced by TSB for low carbon commercial vehicle development . To read Jon Beasley’s presentation, click here .

    Professor Jon King, member of the Automotive Council Supply Chain Group, rounded off the event’s first session, summarising that to grow and strengthen the automotive supply chain, the UK must increase its competiveness, find new entrants and increase the purchasing spend of vehicle manufacturers operating in the UK.

    Professor King, said, “A lot of positive work has already been done and the UK has a strong OEM base. The next challenge is to attract more tier one activity to the UK, including R&D – but the [Auto Council Supply Chain Group] has a very good focus on what needs to be done.”

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