The Effects of Brexit on the UK Automotive Sector

The Effects of Brexit on the UK Automotive Sector
Date and time
30 Nov 2018 (9:30am - 4:00pm)

Curzon Building

4 Cardigan Street Birmingham B4 7BD United Kingdom

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Free to attend.

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UK Automotive Sector

There are now less than 200 days to go until Brexit. After months of negotiating on the terms of the UK’s departure from the EU, we still appear to be no closer to a workable deal. Are we therefore preparing for a ‘worse case’ scenario Brexit which will present a significant threat to trading, especially in terms of the supply chain to manufacturing companies.

The Centre for Brexit Studies and OpenText have been conducting research with automotive manufacturers and suppliers in the West Midlands about how changes in trading and the Customs Union might affect their current supply chain. A one-day symposium will be held in Birmingham to discuss their findings, with presentations from academics and industry experts.

Date: Friday 30 November 2018 Time: 9:30am to 4pm

Venue: Curzon Street, Birmingham


9.30    Registration and Coffee

10.00  Welcome from BCU Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Julian Beer

10.10  Introduction to the Project - Tom Leeson, OpenText

10.30  Findings of the Project – Professor Alex de Ruyter, Centre for Brexit Studies

11.00  Networking and Coffee

11.15  Government speaker TBC

11.45  Q&A

12.00  Buffet Lunch

12:50  Professor David Bailey, Aston University Business School and Visiting Professor with the Centre for Brexit Studies

13:20  Q&A

13:30  David Leighton, Group Head of Corporate Affairs with Associated British Ports

14:00  Q&A

14.10  Networking and Coffee

14.30  Malcolm Harbour CBE

15:00  Q&A

15:10  Beverley Nielsen

15.40  Closing remarks and next steps

16:00  Close

This is a free to attend event however tickets must be registered for in advance.

Speaker Biographies

Professor Alex de Ruyter, Centre for Brexit Studies  

Alex de Ruyter is the director of the Centre for Brexit Studies. He brings a wealth of research experience and academic engagement in the area of regional economic development and labour market issues.

He has published over 50 academic outputs in leading national and international economic journals and has been the recipient of research funding, including being an investigator in the ESRC funded study on the effects on subsequent employment experience of workers from MG Rover (with David Bailey) after plant closure in 2005.

Professor David Bailey, Aston University Business School Professor David Bailey  

David Bailey is Professor of Industrial Strategy at the Aston Business School. He has written extensively on industrial and regional policy, especially in relation to manufacturing and the auto industry.

His recent research has been funded by a number of state and private organisations. He is now participating in the H2020 RISE project MAKERS, was an Area Coordinator (on industrial policy) for the major FP7 project ‘Welfare, Wealth and Work for Europe’ (WWWforEurope).

He is a regular newspaper columnist and media commentator.  He is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Regional Studies, as well as an editor of Policy Studies, and the Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade. He also sits on the advisory board of the RSA’s open access journal Regional Studies, regional Science. A previous Chair of the Regional Studies Association, David is now Chair of the RSA Europe Think-Tank and policy forum.

David Leighton, Group Head of Corporate Affairs with Associated British Ports David Leighton

David Leighton began his career at Associated British Ports as a commercial manager in 2005. He went on to work as government affairs manager from 2008-2013 before being named to his current position. Prior to ABP, he earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Durham in economics and politics, spent four years as a trader for Mitsubishi Corporation and three years as a development executive.

Malcolm Harbour CBE
Malcolm Harbour

Malcolm Harbour CBE is a Senior Adviser to the EU policy consultants Teneo cabinet DN, and to the European Policy Centre, where he leads the Single Market Round Table. He serves on the Governing Council of the University of Birmingham.

A Chartered Mechanical Engineer, he was elected Conservative MEP for the UK West Midlands in 1999 and re-elected in 2004 and 2009. From 2009 to 2014 he served as Chairman of the European Parliament’s Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. He was a key player in shaping policies and legislation for the single market, manufacturing industry, the digital economy, research and consumer protection. He was “rapporteur” on motor vehicle type approval legislation, engaging in many other directives impacting on the automotive industry, covering technology, sales, service and parts.

After graduating from Trinity College, Cambridge, he started his motor industry career in 1967 as a student engineer in the BMC plant in Birmingham. He subsequently held Director level roles in Rover Group, covering product and business planning, marketing, home and export sales. In 1989 he set up a car marketing strategy consultancy, and in 1994 jointly founded the International Car Distribution Programme. He conceived and launched the pioneering 3DayCar research programme, which ran from 1999 to 2001, forensically examining the total automotive supply chain from raw material to customer.

Thomas Leeson Tom Leeson

Thomas (Tom) Leeson is Industry Strategist for the Manufacturing sector at OpenText.  He is an Engineer by trade, a Mathematician by education. He has nearly 40 years of experience working in the manufacturing sector. First within Aerospace, Automotive and Discrete Manufacturing companies introducing computational techniques before moving into the Engineering and Manufacturing IT sector. The last 22 years Tom has fulfilled various senior roles with manufacturing software specialists Dassault Systemes, SmarTeam PLM, Computervision, PTC and the Artificial Intelligence Company Aion.

Tom is passionate about engineering and manufacturing and began his career with a traditional engineering apprenticeship as a Precision Engineer servicing the Oil and Gas, Mining, and Automotive industries in Scotland before moving on to design analysis careers with British Aerospace (BAe) and Jaguar Cars. With BAe he studied a Master’s Degree in Computation Mathematics relating to Computer Aided Engineering.

Beverley Nielsen  

Beverley Nielsen is Associate Professor and Director at IDEA Institute, the Institute for Design & Economic Acceleration at Birmingham City University, where she has worked for the past 10 years as Visiting Tutor, MA Design Management, Director Employer Engagement and Director Corporate Affairs. Beverley has launched a number of initiatives whilst at the university including , with a focus on promoting the Midlands' manufacturing excellence along with our design and brand-led businesses.

She has helped start up over 40 new companies involved in diverse areas including fashion, jewellery, interiors, integrated healthcare, outdoor activities, connected & autonomous vehicles, bicycle accessories and ultra light rail. She currently chairs Ultra Light Rail Partners, Outdoor Elements, and provides support to RCL Partners and Vivere Health Care Group.

Prior to this Beverley was Director of FTSE-250 business, AGA Rangemaster plc, and MD of subsidiary business, Fired Earth. She was Director of CBI West Midlands, having spent 10 years working for the CBI as a European policy advisor and Assistant Director, CBI North West.

Political activities have included a period serving as County Councillor, Worcestershire County Council 2009-2013 and as the Liberal Democrat Mayoral Candidate, WMCA election 2017, which subsequently saw Andy Street elected as West Midlands Mayor.