Automotive industry emphasizes supply chain commitment

21 September 2012


Posted by Michelle Devonshire

The UK's carmaking sector has stressed the importance of its national supply base to the future success of its operations.

At an industry event, Richard Parry-Jones, Co-Chair of the Automotive Council, explained the organization is committed to strengthening and expanding supply chains.

Speaking to delegates at the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) Open Forum, he explained that obstacles are being tackled in a number of areas to improve conditions for manufacturers, including the need for skills, the development of new technologies and problems with access to finance.

The expert was speaking as over 300 policymakers, supplier representatives and industry experts gathered in Solihull to examine the potential of the supply chain in the wake of a series of investment plans being unveiled by manufacturers for Britain.

Attendees looked at ways for companies based in the UK to benefit from the supply chain opportunities this will result in, with sessions exploring issues such as industry strategy in the field, enhancing the £4.8 billion supply chain network and findings from the Automotive Council's supply chain commodity survey.

Automotive Council Supply Chain Group member Michael Mychajluk, who works for Jaguar Land Rover, told delegates: "Although there is still a long way to go, there is a strong opportunity to drive the supply chain forward and bring business back here to the UK."

The remarks follow data from the SMMT revealing that automotive manufacturing in the UK dipped slightly during August this year, but output of cars has risen overall in 2012 compared with the first eight months of 2011.

According to the industry body, commercial vehicles have shown an improvement in demand during the month, with production up by 18.3 per cent over August, although it remained 5.5 per cent lower over the year to date.

August also saw a 12.5 per cent climb in engine production last month, rising by 1.5 per cent since January.

Commenting on the data, Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of the SMMT, explained August is traditionally a lower month for vehicle output, as maintenance and facility upgrades are often carried out over the holiday season, with continuing growth in emerging markets expected to drive production up over the coming months.

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