Britain’s automotive leaders line up to support UK’s first Automechanika

24 March 2016 #SMMT News

SMMT will bring together more than 600 British automotive companies this summer to help them grow their businesses at the industry’s key supply chain networking events. SMMT Open Forum and Meet the Buyer will be held this year at the first ever Automechanika Birmingham trade show in June.

Visitors to the Show will be able to attend SMMT’s networking event, Open Forum, where they will hear from key industry executives, including Andy Palmer, Chief Executive, Aston Martin; Nigel Stein, Chief Executive, GKN Plc; and Ian Harnett, Director of Human Resources and Global Purchasing, Jaguar Land Rover. They will share their insights into the trends, opportunities and challenges facing the automotive sector. June’s Open Forum is set to be the biggest yet, with more than 400 delegates expected to attend.

Meanwhile, car makers, including Aston Martin, Ford, General Motors, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, MINI, Nissan and Toyota are among the first companies who have signed up to meet potential new suppliers at Meet the Buyer 2016.1 The invitation-only networking  event is run by SMMT in partnership with UKTI’s Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO).

Meet the Buyer gives suppliers the opportunity to talk to purchasing managers at some of the world’s biggest automotive companies. It is part of wider efforts to re-shore the UK supply chain, which supports 78,000 jobs, contributes £4.3 billion to the economy and has the potential to provide 80% of every British-built car. With this figure currently at 41%,2 the Automotive Council has identified a £6 billion growth opportunity as UK-based car makers increasingly look closer to home to fulfil just-in-time production needs and cut logistics costs. 3

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “The automotive supply chain is the backbone of automotive manufacturing in the UK, where last year car production reached a 10-year high. The industry looks set to achieve an all-time record of more than 2 million cars a year by 2020 and to support this we must continue to meet the challenge of re-shoring our domestic supplier base.

“Automechanika Birmingham gives us a platform to show the world the opportunities on offer in Britain and help drive supply chain growth. That’s why we’re behind the Show, and why we’re holding our flagship industry events there this year. Providing valuable insight and access to new business will support our members’ competitiveness and encourage investment.”

Automechanika Birmingham takes place from 7-9 June 2016 at the NEC. With more than 550 exhibitors already confirmed, around two thirds of them British, the show is expected to attract thousands of visitors looking for new business opportunities in the UK.

For more information and to register for the exhibition and SMMT’s Open Forum and Meet the Buyer events in June, visit



1 Confirmed participants at Meet the Buyer:


Aisin Europe

Aston Martin



General Motors

Jaguar Land Rover

Lear Corporation




Parker Hannifin

Sears Manufacturing


TR Fastenings




2 Automotive Council report: Growing the Automotive Supply Chain: Local Vehicle Content Analysis (September 2015):


3 Automotive Council report: Growing the Automotive Supply Chain: The Opportunity Ahead (March 2015):

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