SMMT: improving access to finance key to supply chain gains

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Improving access to finance, aggregating national demand and leveraging down the supply chain will boost automotive OEMs' £7.4 billion annual spend on UK sourcing, increasing the £4.8 billion value added from the supply chain to the UK economy.

These were some of the findings from SMMT's recent Supply Chain Group meeting, which brought together more than 50 OEMs and large tier one suppliers, to discuss how to maximise the supply chain business opportunities and keep it an attractive business proposition to global OEMs. Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive, said: "There is real interest from vehicle manufacturers and tier one suppliers to increase the level of sourcing undertaken in the UK." Aston Martin, BMW, GM, Honda, Nissan and Toyota were among the companies attending the meeting which heard from Alan Draper, vice president of purchasing, Ford of Europe and Dave Allen, purchasing director, Jaguar Land Rover. "Essentially the question is what impact does an absence of affordable funding have on the UK automotive supply chain, and the answer is that it will impact on the competitiveness of the supply chain, leading to gaps in commodity sourcing that are filled outside of the UK," said Allen. There was also discussion on growing the UK's skills base, with Richard Hall, director and general manager of the Schaeffler Group's Automotive Division, saying that "over the past few years, some UK automotive companies have reduced their workforces and as we emerge from a challenging economic climate, the UK must ensure it has the skills capability to compete with other countries".