April 6, 2020 @ 9:30 by Steven Hugill
An organisation supporting growth across the North East’s automotive sector has pledged to do everything in its power to help companies navigate the coronavirus pandemic.
The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) says it is working with the Government and a host of national industry bodies to ensure the region is “best prepared for the future”.
Bosses made their promise upon NEAA’s fifth anniversary.
In that time, NEAA – now recognised as the largest automotive cluster in the UK – has supported the creation of a collaborative network that allows companies to gain from the leadership and co-ordination of activities of mutual benefit.
In addition to its COVID-19 pledge, NEAA has also launched a new printed members’ directory and reaffirmed its commitment to providing guidance to firms impacted by coronavirus.
Chief executive Paul Butler [pictured], said: “Having successfully delivered our start-up strategy, the board has set our strategic plan for the mid and long-term.
“Our vision is that the NEAA will be the catalyst through which the region becomes the location of choice for automotive investment in Europe and is recognised as a true powerhouse with a very dynamic, forward looking and competitive supply chain that has strengths in research, development and innovation in new automotive technologies and manufacturing processes.
“Our new strategy sets out our goals for the next five years. In the short-term, however, we are in unprecedented times and facing significant challenges through Brexit, electrification and now COVID-19.
“It has never been so important that we come together as a sector and as a region, to allow members and stakeholders to network, share ideas, information and best practice and to do business with one another.
“The NEAA will continue to work cohesively with national and regional government, the Automotive Council, Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the Welsh Automotive Forum and the Northern Automotive Alliance to represent the needs of the region and to ensure we are best prepared for the future.
“We have also launched a new members’ directory,” added Paul.
“This is a fantastic opportunity to promote our members as the directory will play a vital role in marketing the region’s significant and growing capabilities, helping create a higher awareness of North East England as a location of choice for automotive investment and attracting talent to our sector.
“It is the most comprehensive review of the North East automotive industry and features over 230 companies.
“The team and I look forward to continuing our work in supporting members and stakeholders going forward, especially throughout these difficult times, to realise our vision.”
Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, praised the work of NEAA, saying its endeavours will help the region become more resilient for the future.
He added: “The North East has developed a global reputation as an automotive powerhouse and the NEAA has been a key catalyst in that, harnessing the collective strength and energy of our original equipment manufacturers and the associated supply chain in the region.
“NEAA marks its fifth anniversary during unprecedented times, but it is with their help that we will emerge from this stronger – a North East business community supporting each other to face the challenges and the opportunities that lie ahead together.”