Forum focuses on growth opportunities in automotive sector

Nov 13, 2019

SEMLEP chief executive Hilary Chipping speaks at the SMMT Regional Forum.

GROWING the supply chain in the UK’s automotive sector is key to the industry’s continued success, a meeting of vehicle manufacturers, suppliers and business leaders has heard.

Uncertainty over Brexit and the shift towards connected and autonomous vehicles mean the sector is facing significant challenges. Now the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has launched a new online platform to connect companies and develop new business by matching automotive buyers with suppliers.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT.

Launching the revamped Automotive Supplier Finder at its Regional Forum in Luton, SMMT chief executive  Mike Hawes said: “Growing the UK automotive supply chain is a key aim of SMMT, especially at a time when Brexit and the shift to connected and autonomous vehicles are significant challenges to the sector. The new and improved Automotive Supplier Finder is an invaluable resource, helping to boost new business opportunities and encouraging collaboration within the industry.”

Regional Forums are part of SMMT’s efforts to provide nationwide support and advice for members, with the event at Luton Hoo hearing from speakers including Vauxhall Motors’ plant launch manager Craig Jones and Hilary Chipping, chief executive of the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership.

The ASF is the UK’s largest database of its kind, with almost 10,000 companies listed. Listing is free to all automotive firms operating in the UK and now features new Request for Information and Request for Quotation capabilities not found on competing services. It can be configured for the exact requirements of the user through its advanced filtering function. 

For the first time, ASF has the ability to search for companies operating in the connected, autonomous and electrified sectors. From Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers, original equipment manufacturers and raw materials producers, to legal experts, software providers, recruitment companies and logistics firms, the entire automotive ecosystem is now represented on the platform, Mr Hawes told more than 200 delegates at the forum.

ASF is specifically designed to link automotive buyers with suppliers based on key buying criteria, including product, location, quality standards or capabilities from more than 6,000 different product categories. The free to use service is open to all relevant companies worldwide, however SMMT members benefit from an enhanced company profile with greater visibility, additional areas and priority listing in search returns.

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