A message from the Chair of the NEAA

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your support for the North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) throughout 2022.

The automotive sector continues to be challenging, global supply chain issues, increased costs, inflation, and consumer confidence has resulted in a decline in UK production and market demand. With the national production figures for 2022 expected to be 45% down on the pre-covid 5-year average its understandable that many of the headlines throughout the year were negative.

The NEAA remains the largest automotive cluster in the UK and is widely recognised as the exemplar automotive cluster. It continues to provide an unparalleled collaborative network where companies find benefit from leadership and co-ordination of activities of mutual benefit.

Throughout 2022 the NEAA has continued to support the regions automotive sector, here are some highlights:

  • Cluster Participants – 375 organisations are actively engaged with the NEAA. This consists of 273 members and 102 companies engaged in NEAA public funded projects, compared to 289 cluster participants at the start of the year. For a full list of NEAA members please visit https://northeastautomotivealliance.com/all-listings/.
  • Events – 15 events, mainly in-person focusing on getting the network back together at the popular Members Network events around major companies including Marelli, Gestamp, Cummins and Vantec. Additional hot topic events held around energy, wellbeing, and skills. For details of future events please visit https://northeastautomotivealliance.com/neaa_events.
  • North East Automotive Expo – A record-breaking 700-plus delegates gathered at the Beacon of Light for the annual North East Automotive Expo. It featured over 120 exhibitors, 100 1-2-1 meetings and the largest technology showcase to date. Supply Chain North East provided fully funded exhibition space to 23 eligible companies. To reserve your space at the 2023 Expo please visit https://northeastautomotivealliance.com/events/north-east-automotive-expo-2023/.
  • NEAA Working Groups – a key aspect of the NEAA’s activity is to provide a catalyst for companies to collaborate on areas of mutual interest. Today, there are several active working groups covering a number of key areas including Business Resilience, Health & Safety, Energy, HR, Industrial Digitalisation, EV North, Skills and Trade. For more information please visit https://northeastautomotivealliance.com/member-services/working-groups/.
  • Project Delivery – Since its formation the NEAA has been involved in the delivery of over £24m of publicly funded projects to support the needs of its members, £16.5m of those projects are active today. Publicly funded projects are a key enabler of supporting the delivery of the NEAA strategy. Notably, 2022 saw the completion of the globally significant 5GCAL project and the launch of the NE Local Skills Improvement Plan, details of which can be found here https://northeastautomotivealliance.com/neaa-projects/.
  • Industry representation – The NEAA plays an ever-increasing role as the voice of the North East automotive sector and represents the needs of the region on 17 industry boards/groups, including Automotive Council, BEIS Supply Chain Expert Group, European Automotive Cluster Network, NELEP, TVCA. In addition, across 2022 the NEAA met with 62 key stakeholder organisations including BEIS, DiT, DfE, DCMS, NELEP, TVCA, Advance Northumberland, Bank of England, Zenzic, APC, many on multiple occasions.
  • Marketing & PR – the NEAA’s online presence has gone from strength to strength with a new NEAA website providing a much more engaging platform for members and users, whilst the NEAA’s social media presence has seen a staggering 135% increase in followers – LinkedIn (5.8K followers) and Twitter (2.2K followers). The NEAA continues to raise the profile of the sector, issuing 21 press releases, creating 9 member case studies and has been engaged in numerous interviews and external events throughout the year.

2023 is expected to be challenging too as we face inflationary pressures, supply chain challenges, competition for skills, and our transition to a decarbonised economy.

I look forward to working with the Board and fellow members throughout 2023 to overcome our sectoral challenges and to build upon our existing strengths in vehicle production and electrification. We will continue to represent and work on behalf of the whole North East automotive sector, ensuring the region’s automotive sector has a voice and where we seek to align regional and national strategies to maximise the impact for the region.

Lastly, I would encourage you to ensure your company is maximising your membership benefits. Please visit https://northeastautomotivealliance.com/join-neaa/#services-benefits or email enquiries@northeastautomotivealliance.com to arrange a meeting with your dedicated account manager.

I hope to count on your continued support and membership throughout 2022.

Thank you
Professor Matt Boyle, OBE