Sometimes when you are a component manufacturer like Borough,
supplying chrome-plated parts for a wide variety of cars built in
the UK, it's easy to concentrate on what we do and forget the
important part we play in the overall success of the industry.
This brought home to me in no uncertain terms when I attended
the latest of the 'Meet the Buyer' events, organised by the Society
of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
The latest figures from the sector highlighted its importance to
the UK economy, employing over 770,000 people and investing over
£1.9bn in R&D every year.
The strength and capability of the automotive supply chain was
recognised a crucial factor in driving growth of the automotive
industry and attracting investment into the UK. Which is good news
for British manufacturers like us with a proud heritage of
delivering quality chrome-plated components to be used on some of
the world's most iconic brands - that will have to remain
The good news for Borough and many smaller manufacturers like
us, is that there is growing interest from both global vehicle
manufacturers and the UK's Tier 1 suppliers to source more
components in the UK.
This is the reason behind events like one held at the QEII
Conference Centre in London in May, when around 250 businesses,
sought time with buyers representing 22 vehicle manufacturers and
Tier 1 buying organisations.
This willingness of the major names to engage with those of us
further down the supply chain is encouraging, as is the SMMT's
attempt to help local suppliers retain and build relationships with
the manufacturers and the Tier 1 organisations.
Whilst it was good to see current customers, who confirmed their
commitment to good local suppliers by attending, it was good to see
support from potential new customers, like Ford Europe, Honda,
Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren Automotive, Nissan and Peugeot
As a by-product of these events, there are almost as many
interesting and potentially valuable meetings to be had amongst the
manufacturers attending in the hope of meeting the main buyers.
From conversations had with the sector representatives at the
event, the optimism felt at Borough for the future health of the
automotive supply chain in the UK is not only shared, but expanded