SMMT networking event highlights growth opportunities for UK supply chain

03 July 2012 #SMMT News

Today, more than 20 UK-based vehicle manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers gathered at a specialist supply chain networking event in the West Midlands, to meet more than 100 automotive component companies, seeking to source more locally produced parts to boost the UK’s £4.8 billion automotive supply base.

Building on the success of last year’s ‘Meet the Buyer’ events, delegates heard presentations from a range of industry and political representatives providing insight on the outlook for the automotive supply chain, ahead of the day’s scheduled meetings.

Setting the scene, Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive outlined the new business opportunities available to domestic suppliers following the surge of investment announcements made by global vehicle manufacturers over the last 18 months.

Mick Aiers, Purchasing Manager, General Motors and James Thompson, Purchasing Manager, Ford Europe emphasised the importance of establishing new business relationships between vehicle manufacturers and automotive component companies at every level of the supply chain. Mr Aiers commented on the success of SMMT’s ‘Meet the Buyer’ events, underlining them as a crucial mechanism for connecting high-value Tier 1 suppliers with companies further down the chain, ensuring that business stays in the UK.

Concluding the speaker session, Phil Davies, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, confirmed government’s commitment to re-building the automotive supply chain in the UK, outlining the work being undertaken by the Automotive Council and the funding support on offer to boost growth opportunities. Mr Davies also outlined the latest automotive commodity list produced by BIS, highlighting just some of the key components that UK-based vehicle manufacturers are looking to source and reaffirming the growth opportunities on the back of this new demand.

With over 250 one-to-one meetings taking place, today’s SMMT ‘Meet the Buyer’ event is the largest business networking event of its kind, demonstrating industry’s commitment to increasing levels of local sourcing and providing a platform to facilitate new business relationships.

Attending vehicle manufacturers at the event included Aston Martin, Bentley, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and TATA Motors. Tier 1 supplier companies included Aisin Europe, Bosch, CAB Automotive, Calsonic Kansei, Faurecia, Futaba Tenneco, Grupo Antolin, IAC Group, Jtekt/Koyo, Kahn Design, Koito, Kostal UK, LuK UK, Mobis Parts, Sanoh UK Manufacturing, and Scorpion Automotive.

The participating supply chain companies were selected via SMMT’s Automotive Supplier Finder (ASF) database (, a tool designed to match buyers to suppliers based on the UK automotive commodity demand list that was published earlier this year.

For more information about participating as a buyer or a supplier at future SMMT ‘Meet the Buyer’ events, visit:


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