How to give strength to UK automotive suppliers

Posted on 2 Mar 2011 by The Manufacturer

The Automotive Council has today published a report identifying growth opportunities for suppliers to the UK automotive industry.

‘Growing the Automotive Supply Chain – the Road Forward’ explains where purchasing decisions are made and where the UK has the potential capability to meet the demand currently untapped.

Companies in the UK are already winning more than £7 billion of work annually from vehicle makers. But there are clear opportunities to grow this business.

Using data collected from 11 vehicle manufacturers and 140 supply chain companies, the report identifies the opportunities with a new purchasing wish list of interior and exterior vehicle parts from manufacturers.

The main categories with untapped potential are: interior and exterior parts which include headliners, carpets, seats, instrument panels and HVAC units, glass as well as exterior parts such as bumpers and large plastic mouldings; powertrain and body parts including suspensions, castings, forgings and transmission components; and electrics and electronic parts, which include power steering, engine control units and alternators.

According to the report, approximately 80% of all components required for vehicle assembly operations in the UK could be procured from local suppliers.

The document was launched by the Business Secretary, during a visit to Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) and supply chain company International Automotive Components (IAC) in Halewood, Merseyside.

Cable said: “Today’s Automotive Council report shows for the first time where the opportunities are, the parts that vehicle manufacturers want to source here in the UK if they have the choice, and where the UK has capability to supply those parts.”

The Business Secretary also welcomed today’s news that JLR’s Evoque, which starts production in July backed by a government offer of support of up to £26 million, has resulted in supply chain contracts worth £2 billion being awarded to 40 manufacturers across the UK. They are expected to generate 5,000 new jobs in the supply chain.

He continued: “JLR’s news that it’s awarding £2 billion worth of contracts to businesses in the UK to supply components for the Evoque shows that the UK automotive supply chain is capable of winning major contracts and creating vital jobs in the UK.”

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said: “This UK Sourcing Roadmap is a key step towards strengthening the UK supply chain and increasing the competitiveness of the UK, highlighting genuine potential for UK vehicle manufacturers to source more parts and components from home grown suppliers.

“The transition to a low carbon future presents significant opportunities for the UK automotive sector and the roadmap will be a key tool in helping to identify where demand lies for local suppliers developing these new technologies.”