Open Forum provides window into Automotive Sector Strategy

21 March 2013 #SMMT News

Delegates at today’s SMMT Open Forum were given a unique insight into the government’s upcoming Automotive Sector Strategy that aims to map the industry’s future by focusing on key growth areas including technology, supply chain opportunities and skills.

Taking to the stage in front of more than 400 industry representatives, Rose McNamee from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills outlined the direction and purpose of the 11 sector strategies that are being developed and why UK automotive has been selected as a significant focus for the government.

Due to be published in July, the Automotive Sector Strategy is being co-ordinated through the Automotive Council and is supported by SMMT to ensure the interests of automotive companies across the country are represented.

Following the presentation from BIS, Nissan’s Jerry Hardcastle OBE, Automotive Council Technology Group Chair and Jaguar Land Rover’s Dave Allen, Automotive Council Supply Chain Group Chair, highlighted the progress being made by the two key work streams in feeding into the Automotive Sector Strategy as well the Council’s broader achievements to date.

Highlighting the current strength of the UK automotive industry, particularly in the face of challenging market conditions across Europe, Mr Hardcastle said, “I do believe that the ongoing activities between the automotive industry and the government underlie some of the success that we are enjoying.

“One of the key strengths and sources of influence that the Automotive Council has enjoyed is the unusual ability that industry has developed to speak with one voice.  This has given real credibility to the purpose, structure and capability of the Automotive Council.”

Concluding the session, Mr Allen outlined the Automotive Council’s focus on the domestic supply chain, emphasising that there are tangible opportunities to exploit and that companies at every level of the supply chain need to be able to access these prospects and grow their businesses to match OEM requirements.

He said, “There is a collective vision within the Automotive Council to maximise opportunities for automotive suppliers and we are hugely motivated to bring new business to the UK and keep a long-term automotive footprint in this country.”

Click through for more information about activities taking place today at SMMT’s Open Forum event.

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