The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has today, announced the plenary agenda for the next instalment of Open Forum events, taking place on Wednesday 14 March in Northampton.

    Held in Northampton Saints Rugby Club, the free-to-attend event will focus on new growth and investment opportunities available to the UK’s automotive supply chain, following the surge of investment announcements made by global vehicle manufacturers in 2011.

    Building on the success of last year’s Open Forum events, the first session will explore the activities undertaken by the Automotive Council to strengthen the UK’s automotive supply base. Leading the presentations will be Richard Parry Jones, Automotive Council Co-Chair and Jon Beasley of GKN on behalf of the Automotive Council’s Technology Group.

    Speakers will also include Charlotte Barker, Head of Operations for Aisin Europe (UK) who will discuss the company’s plans to grow within the UK market over the next few years and its future investment strategy. Simon Moger, Purchasing Manager of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will outline the emerging opportunities for UK suppliers following JLR’s recently announced

    £355 million investment into a new facility

    in the Midlands to manufacture low emission engines.

    “In 2011, global vehicle manufacturers committed in excess of £4 billion to UK automotive through renewed facilities and new model programmes, providing a fresh wave of business and growth opportunities at every level of the UK supply chain,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “SMMT’s Open Forum event not only highlights the prospects awaiting UK-based suppliers but also provides a platform to discuss and facilitate the support that the automotive supply chain will need to ensure that it can access these exciting opportunities.”
    Delegate numbers are strictly limited, and places are allocated on a first come, first served basis. To book your place at the SMMT Open Forum on 14 March 2012, contact Claire Balch on

    or 020 7344 1636.

    About SMMT:

    The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media.

    The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for £49 billion turnover and £10 billion value added. With over 700,000 jobs dependent on the industry, it accounts for more than 10% of total UK exports and invests £1.3 billion each year in automotive R&D. Since 2000, huge strides have been made to reduce the environmental impact of its products throughout the life cycle. Improvements in production processes mean that since 2000, energy used to produce vehicles is down 28%, water use has been cut by 40% and 78% less waste enters landfill sites. Average new car tailpipe CO2 emissions have also been slashed and are down 23% compared to 2000.