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Business & Economy

Virtual Automotive Export Week is launched

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) has announced the launch of its first Automotive Export Week, to take place virtually between September 14-18.

The NEAA is collaborating with Supply Chain North East and the Department for International Trade (DIT) to ensure the virtual event engages businesses at every stage of the process to explore key automotive markets, learn about all aspects of export, seek support from market specialists and trade champions, build contacts and meet potential customers.

The week will comprises more than 40 events including country briefings, interactive panel discussions and workshops. In addition, there will be a platform for delegates to market their products and services to enable business matchmaking, collaboration and one-to-one networking.

Paul Butler, CEO of the NEAA (pictured), said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Supply Chain North East and the Department for International Trade to demonstrate that the North East continues to be a key player in the global automotive sector.

“Over the past 30 years, the region has established itself as a centre of excellence for automotive manufacturing. It is the second largest automotive region in the UK and accounts for 30 per cent of UK passenger vehicles, 20 per cent of Europe’s electric passenger vehicles, 10 per cent of all UK non-highway vehicles and produces 350,000 engines per year. More recently, it has established itself as a leading location for electrification with strengths in battery manufacturing, power electronics, motors and drives.

“Automotive Export Week will feature country briefings from across the globe and creates the ideal opportunity for businesses to expand their sector knowledge and raise their company profile with a view to boosting sales overseas and speaking directly to specialist trade advisors.”

Lawrence Davies, part of the automotive sector team at DIT, added: “I am delighted to be supporting Automotive Export Week this September. This is another example of the NEAA’s proactive support for its members and willingness to collaborate with the wider UK sector. This event will bring together automotive country specialists from within the Department for International Trade and other supporting organisations and companies from across the North East and the UK. Companies at all stages of export will benefit from this amazing opportunity. The automotive sector remains the UK’s largest exporter of industrial goods and I, for one, would like to see this continue.”

Ljupcso Mihailovski, deputy director, CEE regional automotive head at DIT added: “Our cooperation with the NEAA for the past two years has been very intensive and productive. Together with my team from central Europe – a region including Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech R., Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia – we have engaged regularly with opportunities for the NEAA members in the region, mostly about Poland, although there is big potential to expand this to the other countries.

“In our session at the Automotive Export Week, we would like to give UK companies an overview of the automotive sector in the region, the effect of COVID-19 and opportunities as well as relevant events in the region. We are, of course, here to support UK businesses export to Europe, as well as assisting them in potential expansion in the region.”

Paul Brooks, UK head of manufacturing & automotive at Santander UK, will also join the event. He said: “Our automotive sector is steeped in entrepreneurialism, with the UK continually ranking in the top ten for global car exports. The UK is integral to the international supply chain and this position has been bolstered by the innovation we see here in the North East.  As a bank that has a footprint in markets around the world, we are excited to share our passion for supporting UK businesses with international expansion as we take part in Automotive Export Week.”