SMMT News Uncategorised

Investors showing ‘real interest’ in UK automotive low-carbon development

19 March 2014 #SMMT News #Uncategorised

Speaking at SMMT’s Open Forum event in the West Midlands, Joe Greenwell, CEO of the Automotive Investment Organisation, said that there is ‘real interest’ from investors in UK automotive’s growing aptitude for low-carbon R&D.

“It is fair to say that UK has made reasonable progress so far in its investment-attracting projects,” said Greenwell. “We have seen real interest in the UK’s increasing capability for developing low-carbon technologies. The progress we are making is resonating, and people want to get closer to vehicle manufacturers and their R&D and design assets.”

Open Forum brought together around 300 representatives from across the UK’s diverse automotive industry for a day of exploration into the opportunities for further growth. The need to nurture the UK business environment to attract investment was a key focus, while developing skills was also high on the agenda.

Jerry Hardcastle, Global Chief Marketability Engineer at Nissan and Chair of the Automotive Council’s Technology Group, stressed the need to invest in the people charged with realising the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

“There is a need to embed expertise and know-how in the people involved in the APC,” said Hardcastle. “While the project aims to bridge the gap between R&D and production, the APC itself will only facilitate this – the people themselves will actually build this bridge.”

With the first steps being made into the 10-year Automotive Sector Strategy, Nick Grout of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills took the opportunity to reaffirm its aims. Meanwhile Michael Mychajluk of Jaguar Land Rover, and Chair of the Supply Chain Group, delved into future opportunities for supplier expansion.

Mark Adams of Toyota provided a vehicle manufacturer’s perspective, while speakers from suppliers ElringKlinger and UYT explored their challenges to growth.

Forthcoming SMMT supply chain events include Meet the Buyer, which aims to match OEM and Tier 1 buyers to suitable suppliers based on the buyer’s sourcing requirements. The event will take place in London on 25 June, with more details to be found here.

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