SMMT adds ”source” to its menu of services

19 March 2002 #SMMT News

SMMT today hosted the second in a series of sourcing seminars

for the UK automotive industry. With the focus on the premium and niche sectors,

vehicle component suppliers were brought together with representatives from

Bentley Motors Ltd, Jensen, London Taxis International and MG Rover.

Purchasing philosophies of the manufacturers, future sourcing

strategies and advice on how to compete with foreign competition all featured

in a comprehensive presentation. Tim Burt, the Motor Industry Correspondent

for the Financial Times offered an overview on the sector as an informed observer.

Speaking during the event, Des Kelly, Director of Quality for

Bentley Motors Ltd said, ‘In our opinion, the UK supply base has the necessary

skill to survive, and the top tier of component manufacturers can go on to hold

a significant place in the world market. What is required of them is a commitment

to gain quality accreditation in order to compete effectively’. He also cautioned

that manufacturers are looking at total acquisition cost as a key factor in

purchasing decisions.

SMMT Chief Executive, Christopher Macgowan said afterwards,

‘It is encouraging to see the level of belief that manufacturers and suppliers

have in the future of their UK business. Clearly, despite a difficult economic

climate, Britain’s automotive industry is here to stay and grow. It is not sinking

into oblivion as some would have us believe.’

Notes to editors:

  1. In 2000, the UK vehicle and component manufacturing industry

    generated £45 billion of annual sales and accounted for 5.3 per cent

    of GDP.

  2. Britain has more than 60 producers of cars, vans, trucks

    and buses.

  3. There are around 850,000 people employed in vehicle manufacturing,

    distribution and maintenance in the UK. This figure includes about 307,000

    jobs in vehicle and component production and manufacturing.

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