Issue: Nov 2005


Welsh Automotive initiatives drives forward business deals worth 100m +



by Steve Barclay

Contracts valued in excess of 100million have been won by Welsh based automotive companies in the last four years through the support of the Accelerate Wales supply chain development programme.

The initiative, managed by the Welsh Development Agency with European funding from the Welsh Assembly Government, has exceeded the majority of its targets since it was established in 2001.

Delivering the results to the Accelerate Wales 7th bi-annual seminar on Thursday November 3, project manager Keith Thomas said that to date the programme has helped create 500 jobs in Objective 1 areas of Wales, supported 46 supply chains and assisted 430 companies.

The high value of new contracts won by companies participating in the programme was indicative of their increased competitiveness he said.

Andrew Davies, Minister for Economic Development and Transport, said the automotive sector employed some 28,000 people in Wales while the sector generated sales in the region of 2.5bn a year.

The automotive sector continues to play a key role in the Welsh economy but operates within an increasingly competitive and demanding global market. The Accelerate Wales programme which the Welsh Assembly Government introduced has made a significant contribution in improving the efficiencies and effectiveness of Welsh based companies.

It is helping to provide the tools needed to help them compete, diversify, seek out new opportunities and win new business. It is a two way process that benefits the Tier one suppliers as well as the SMEs through developing and improving the supply chain while sourcing products in Wales wherever possible.

Steve Patterson, senior business development manager for the automotive sector, spoke of the importance of companies working together for their mutual benefit.

He urged companies to maximise their group potential by working together: Do not forget your ability as a progressive, innovative and close knit community to do business together, to share knowledge, impart experience and spread the word

Wales has a strong and thriving automotive sector with a good critical mass of companies, an established and growing support infrastructure and full political support. We are working together in partnership to sustain an exciting and productive future.



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