May 3, 2019 @ 12:53 by Richard Dawson
The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA), the UK’s largest automotive cluster, has announced its first automotive conference, labelled The Future of Automotive, taking place on 27 June at Ramside Hall Hotel.
The NEAA, who already organise the North East’s only automotive expo which is entering its fifth year, as well as the annual automotive awards, will now add a conference to its portfolio with keynote speakers from across the UK heading to the region.
Speakers will include senior figures from Innovate UK, Department for International Trade, APC UK, Driving the Electric Revolution, Meridian Mobility UK, High Value Manufacturing Catapult, Siemens, TR Fastenings plus more.
The automotive sector is entering unprecedented times in terms of the technology in the vehicles produced and how they are manufactured. This presents major challenges and significant opportunities for the North East automotive sector.
The North East is globally renown as a centre of excellence for automotive manufacturing, producing 30% of all UK passenger vehicles and is a significant contributor to the regional economy, generating over £11bn of sales.
The region is home to leading global automotive companies, such as Nissan, Komatsu, Cummins, Adient, Borg Warner, Calsonic Kansei, Elring Klinger, Faltec, Gestamp, Kasai, Lear, Nifco, Novares, SNOP, Unipres and ZF TRW. Despite near-term challenges around the transition to electrification, the sector is expected to grow to £14bn over the next three years.
In recent years, the region has also established significant capabilities in batteries, power electronics and electric motors. The North East manufacturing must capitalise on these strengths to ensure the region is at the forefront of the UK Government’s strategy to ensure the technologies of tomorrow are designed, developed and manufactured in the UK.
Paul Gadd, head of land transport at Innovate UK, who will speak at the event said: “The Future of Mobility is one of the four grand challenges that form the heart of the governments Industrial Strategy. Innovate UK are pleased to work with organisations like the North East Automotive Alliance in supporting UK businesses to take advantage of the global opportunity that innovation in transport will bring, delivering societal and economic benefits.”
Paul Butler, CEO of the NEAA said of the conference: “We are delighted to introduce the future of automotive conference to the region. It is in the North East’s best interests that we are fully informed and prepared for the future opportunities that will come out of the automotive sector.
“It is an honour to be hosting so many senior figures from within the automotive sector who are dedicating their time to speak at this conference, which will address all elements from vehicle technology through to manufacturing technology, as well as the skills we need to take advantage of this.
“The opportunities within the automotive sector are huge. The accelerated introduction of new technologies such as electrified propulsion, connected and autonomous vehicles will have significant impact on our supply chain; whilst an increased focus on localisation and the digitalisation of our manufacturing processes will open the automotive sector to new companies. The conference will give delegates a broad insight in to the fundamental areas driving the region’s automotive powerhouse.”