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  • Automotive Proposition for the Midlands

    Resource Types: Regional Brochure

    front-coverAre you looking to set up or expand your automotive business in the UK? Look no further than the Midlands, UK.

    Positioned centrally among vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, the region provides optimum access to the UK automotive market including seven volume car manufacturers, seven commercial vehicle manufacturers, and 16 of the world’s top 20 automotive suppliers. This strategic location creates efficiencies in the supply chain, and contributes to the global competitiveness of the region.

    Don’t just take our word for it, download our Automotive Proposition for the Midlands Region brochure and find out for yourself.

    Regional contact details are provided in the brochure however for any other enquiries please contact us here:

    Read more on this article by clicking on ‘View’.

  • Investing in Automotive: Your Business Guide to coming to the Midlands, UK

    Resource Types: Automotive Guide

    Setting up your automotive business in a new country can be difficult and its often hard to know where to start.

    This guide is designed to provide automotive businesses looking to locate in the Midlands with the necessary information to help important decisions when compiling the business case and reducing risk and the time it takes to start making profitable sales.

    Download your copy today:


  • Does the Industrial Strategy’s Automotive Sector Deal go far enough?

    Resource Types: Thought Leadership

    david-shepherdAutomotive is one of the first industries to be given its own sector deal, as part of the UK’s new Industrial Strategy. More than 800,000 people are employed across the wider automotive industry nationally, which accounts for 12% of total UK export of goods*, so it is welcome news that the Government has recognised that innovation is critical to the growth and development of this highly valuable sector.

    Drive Midlands held three roundtable discussions last year to help inform a response to the Industrial Strategy Green Paper, specifically focusing on what an automotive sector deal should look like. Some 40 automotive businesses took part, ranging from OEMs to Tier 2 suppliers and service providers. The resulting response from Drive Midlands outlined a range of topics to address – including the importance of a 15-30 year plan for the industry, the need for more skilled engineers, and access to finance.

    Now the sector deal has been published, has the industry been listened to? Broadly, the Government has delivered a deal that fully supports areas of innovation that the Midlands is leading. Funding worth £250 million for the development and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV) is great news for the region, which has become a testbed for driverless vehicles.

    Support for hydrogen is also particularly valuable for Midlands firms, with a £23 million hydrogen transport programme aiming to increase the number of publicly accessible refuelling stations and boosting demand for fuel cell vehicles. A further £80 million has been committed to a world-class automotive battery development facility in Coventry and Warwickshire – complementing the £130 million factory being built by engineering group Meggitt in Coventry.

    It is crucial that the UK remains internationally competitive when benchmarked against other countries and markets. With £16 million earmarked for national supplier competitiveness and

    productivity improvement programme, firms along the supply chain should be able to access greater support in making sure they are winning work from international competitors

    However, there are areas of opportunity that should be explored further.  A greater emphasis on Industry 4.0 and the digitalisation of manufacture would help the UK remain internationally competitive. While skills development is identified in the sector deal, the UK still needs to produce many more graduate engineers, drive engagement with schools and overhaul craft skills provision. In addition, the emphasis on new technologies, such as CAV, are welcome – but other elements of vehicle systems and architecture still need attention. Making more funding available for capital expenditure into projects – in addition to finance for SMEs – will also help to unlock more investment from overseas.

    Overall, the sector deal is a very positive start for the Midlands automotive industry. It should now be used as the basis for a much longer term plan, spanning up to 30 years. The automotive industry thrives on new technologies, innovations and consumer trends – but it also values certainty and an ongoing commitment to how R&D, skills development and business support can be scaled up in years to come.

    By David Shepherd, Senior Business Development Manager, Drive Midlands

  • Industrial Strategy and the Automotive Sector Deal – just more talk or a worthwhile exercise?

    Resource Types: Article

    Mills and ReeveOn 10 January the Government launched the Automotive Sector Deal, providing support for the sector in the implementation of the Industrial Strategy.

    What is clear from both the Industrial Strategy and the Automotive Sector Deal is that the UK Automotive industry is seen as a beacon of hope and opportunity, particularly in the brave new world post EU. Automotive is at the cutting edge of global challenges and significant developments in how we live, work and play and also forms a large percentage of our exports. Many sectors and players have a role to play in ensuring its continuing ability to adapt and play on the world stage. Each of the five foundations of the Industrial Strategy play into the development of the Automotive Sector, hence the partnership between Government and Industry to push the sector forward.

    So what does the Automotive Sector Deal do?
    Arguably, it reiterates commitments identified in the Industrial Strategy, re-packages funding and initiatives which are already in place and many of the projects highlighted are fairly short term in commitment. We do, however, get clarity on the key initial commitments of both government and industry and it is evident this is intended to be a longer term play, not a short term PR stunt. Here’s hoping…

    Click here to read the full article

  • Automotive Council: UK International Competitiveness Survey

    Resource Types: Survey

    auto-council-logo_col-2In November 2015, the Automotive Council published its first report on the International Competitiveness of the UK Automotive Industry. The aim of the report was to illustrate the UK’s competitiveness advantages, and to identify where additional attention from government and industry would optimise the UK’s attractiveness
    for R&D and manufacturing.

    Since then the report has been widely reported and used in industry and government – it is available on the Automotive Council website at the following address here.

    Please click here for a see link to the questionnaire in which you will be asked to identify the key factors driving investment decisions.

    All replies from the survey go to an independent third party, and will not be seen by anyone from another company. Information from the surveys will be aggregated and will not be attributed to any respondent.

    We also encourage you to pass on the survey to companies in your supply chain; the larger the response the more credible and objective our report will be. Companies who reply to the survey will receive a copy of the International Competitiveness report in advance of publication, and will have the opportunity to comment.

    This survey provides a unique opportunity for our industry to give objective guidance to both the Automotive Council and the government in a way which can strengthen the UK’s automotive sector for the long term.

  • Supplier Readiness Event – Speaker presentations

    Resource Types: Presentation

    event-image-for-eventbriteOn Tuesday 17th October 2017, Drive Midlands assembled a group of senior people from within the automotive industry to share their insights on the latest automotive opportunities and how to get into better shape to capitalise on them at an event entitled ‘Supplier Readiness’.

    Among the speaker line up included WMG, Toyota and Department for International Trade. The vent was aimed at Managing Directors, Sales and Business Development Directors and Managers of companies currently supplying or with an ambition to supply the automotive industry at all tiers.

    Please see below for links to the speakers presentations:


  • SMMT Funding and Support Guide

    Resource Types: Funding

    smmt-logoSMMT’s Funding and Support Guide, available for free, brings together sources of money and support useful for businesses active in the automotive sector.

    Read more on this article by clicking on ‘View’.

  • Are electric cars an aspirational purchase at last?

    Resource Types: Article

    Mills and ReeveIt’s a long road ahead, but could new electric vehicles see an end to the internal combustion engine?

    It wasn’t long ago that if you mentioned electric vehicles (EVs) you would most likely imagine a golf buggy or a driverless monorail accessing airports or leisure parks. No more. Now we have the £100k+ BMW i8, a “plug-in-hybrid” which can reach 0-62 mph in 4.4 seconds and the equally impressive Tesla Model S with its fully electric kWh all-wheel drive, which can accelerate to 62 mph in 2.7 seconds. They are already becoming the envy of the school pick-up and boasting these amazing performance figures, are exciting even serious petrol heads (who incidentally will need to look for a new collective noun in the future).

    These new models are the pinnacle of what is definitely now a seismic and systemic change in the automotive world and reflects changing attitudes. It may even signal the end of the internal combustion engine – but not for some time yet as, pun intended, it is a long road to when that will be completely the case and this article explains a little bit about why that has to be the case.

    To continue reading this article please click on view.

  • Essential Skills for Manufacturers – Industry Forum

    Resource Types: Training

    if-logo-large-secondaryOur trainers are expert practitioners with hands-on industrial experience and highly developed communication skills. They have a wealth of technical expertise and often provide on-site advice and coaching. During every course we will encourage collaboration and sharing of practical experiences, ensuring learning can be put into context and empowering delegates to apply their new skills successfully in their workplace as well as making sustainable improvements.

    Open courses are delivered at our modern Learning Centre on Birmingham Business Park with easy access to major road, rail and air networks. Our naturally lit, air-conditioned training rooms enable you to concentrate on your learning in the best possible environment with excellent facilities, refreshments and plenty of workspace. If required we will be happy to recommend a selection of hotels in close proximity offering high levels of accommodation to suit your budget.

    Depending on your specific needs and location, we can deliver on-site courses in your own premises, saving you both time and travelling costs. You can choose different delivery methods, from one-to-one coaching or small group teaching, dependent on your requirements allowing you to tailor the training to the specific needs of your team.

    New training courses are now available for manufacturers, please click on view for training courses.



  • 2017 UK Automotive Sustainability Report

    Resource Types: Report

    smmt-logoThe UK automotive industry had another successful year in 2016, with production achieving the best performance since the turn of the century, record exports and an all-time high for new vehicle registrations. At the same time, manufacturers delivered on key environmental indicators, including CO2, energy, water and waste per vehicle produced, while improving their economic and social performance.

    For this report, we welcome three new signatories: Lotus, McLaren Automotive and ATP, a remanufacturing company, further enlarging the breadth of businesses this report covers. Lotus and McLaren Automotive join Aston Martin to give the report additional insight into the small volume manufacturing sector and you’ll find a specific focus on this sector on page 11. The total number of signatories has risen to a new high of 28, representing an even broader range of member company activities.

    In addition, for the first time, SMMT has undertaken a materiality assessment, examining current, emerging and future priorities of vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, as well as other stakeholders, including government advisors, academics, charities, environmental NGOs and trade unions.

    The SMMT Sustainability Report 2017 is the 18th edition – the longest standing sector sustainability report.

    For more information please click ‘View’.