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UK automotive industry assesses supply chain opportunities from future tech at SMMT Open Forum

01 June 2018 #Event News #SMMT News
  • Vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and technology innovators come together to discuss the future of the car and mobility at SMMT Open Forum – back for a third year at Automechanika Birmingham.
  • Connected and autonomous technology, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing and flexible ownership all up for debate, with speakers including Aston Martin Lagonda, Bosch, DriveNow and Toyota.
  • The Gadget Show’s Georgie Barrat to chair new expert panel exploring UK supply chain opportunities from future tech.

The future of the car, including how it is designed, manufactured and driven, will be debated at The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Open Forum, taking place on 5 June at Automechanika Birmingham. Vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and technology innovators will come together at the half-day conference to discuss the latest trends shaping the future of mobility and the supply chains behind it.

The shift to connected and autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, digital manufacturing, augmented reality and flexible car ownership models will be explored in keynote speeches by automotive manufacturing leaders, including Aston Martin Lagonda and Toyota Motor Europe. Meanwhile, The Gadget Show presenter Georgie Barrat will lead a new expert panel, Disruption in the Automotive Industry, debating supply chain opportunities and challenges from the rapid advancement of technology across the auto sector.

Britain is well placed to be a centre of excellence for the development and deployment of these advanced new vehicle technologies, thanks to close collaboration between industry, government and adjacent sectors, most notably tech. Moving to the next generation of mobility solutions presents a significant opportunity for the UK, with tangible social, industrial and economic benefits. The economic impact of connected and autonomous vehicles alone has been estimated at £51 billion by 2030, with the creation of 320,000 additional jobs – 25,000 of them in automotive manufacturing.1

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said,

Collaboration across the automotive sector and beyond is essential if we are to create the technology and supply chain needed to design and engineer new mobility solutions. Industry is leading the charge, investing billions to develop innovative vehicles and vehicle systems that will redefine transportation and make our roads cleaner and safer than ever before. Events such as SMMT Open Forum and Automechanika Birmingham allow an open exchange of views and opportunities, essential to the creation of new opportunities for growth.

Georgie Barrat, technology journalist and The Gadget Show presenter, said,

Has there been a more interesting time for the automotive industry? Seeing how the latest cars and mobility solutions are making use of today’s technological innovations, from voice control to artificial intelligence, is fascinating and I’m excited to be involved with SMMT Open Forum. With cars becoming increasingly connected and autonomous, packed with the latest entertainment, safety and low emission technology, the future is truly intriguing.

  • The confirmed speaker line-up for SMMT Open Forum 2018 includes:
  • Mike Hawes, Chief Executive, SMMT
  • Tony Walker CBE, Managing Director, Toyota Motor Europe
  • Andy Haslam, Vehicle Line Director, Large Car Platform, Aston Martin Lagonda
  • Steve Collins, NMCL Programme Manager, SMMT
  • Olivia Walker, Head of City Development, Mobility Solutions, Bosch
  • Ben Salama, Managing Director, Accenture Digital
  • James Taylor, Managing Director, DriveNow
  • Tom Westendorp, Business Development Manager, Nvidia
  • Georgie Barrat, Tech Journalist and TV presenter

Automechanika Birmingham also features SMMT’s flagship Meet the Buyer event, which brings together purchasing departments from vehicle manufacturers and Tier 1 suppliers and matches them with component makers of all sizes in a series of one-to-one meetings. This year the event takes place on 6 June and will see more than 60 buyers representing some of the UK’s largest automotive firms, including Aston Martin Lagonda, Bentley, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan, meet hundreds of representatives of the supply chain.

Now in its third year, Automechanika Birmingham is the UK’s leading automotive trade fair with more than 500 aftermarket and supply chain exhibitors. It takes place at the NEC Birmingham from 5-7 June 2018 and entry
is free.

Notes to editors

1: Connected and Autonomous Vehicles: the UK Economic Opportunity – March 2015

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