A concept car dubbed the Birmingham Bolt – because the technical expertise and componentry it uses were sourced almost entirely from the UK’s second largest city – is on show at Dehli Auto Expo.
The car was devloped by inward investment body Business Birmingham as a technical showcase for the Greater Birmingham area and highlights the local supply chain and investment opportunities.
There has been significant Indian auto investment in the region already – notably Tata Motors’ purchase of flagship automaker Jaguar Land Rover.
Business Birmingham’s transport technologies and manufacturing investment manager Martyn Mangan said: “The Bolt is a high performance, premium concept vehicle design that incorporates advanced engineering capability and precision parts sourced almost exclusively in the Birmingham area.
“Our established automotive supply chain means that the majority of body, chassis, interior and underlying componentry could be supplied locally – seeing this design or one very much like it accelerate from the drawing board and onto roads in under 18 months using our existing research, development and manufacturing base.”
Business Birmingham is using the concept to demonstarte the significant opportunity that the presence of such a strong automotive and advanced engineering supply chain presents for investors.
Neil Rami, Chief Executive of Marketing Birmingham said: “The message we’re sharing with investors in Delhi is that two thirds of all UK automotive R&D is conducted in the Greater Birmingham area and global vehicle manufacturers such as Jaguar Land Rover, Toyota and BMW source over GBP4bn of components locally.
“We’re at the show to encourage and support joint ventures between UK businesses and Indian companies looking to enter the supply chain. There are also still opportunities for suppliers in as yet untapped niches – including specialist casting companies, specific engine components and electronics suppliers – so we believe there is a compelling commercial case for choosing Birmingham as a place in which to invest.”
The Birmingham supply chain includes:
Brakes & safety equipment
- Lear Corporation – seats & fabrics
- NIA – Nippon Industries
- Barkley Plastics – fastenings & mouldings
- IAC – International Automotive components Group)
- Plastic Omnium – body components
Tyres & wheels
- Goodyear – tyres
- Rimstock – wheels
- Pilkington – glass
Body in White
- Stadco – steel & aluminium panels and components
- Sertec – aluminium panels & pressings
- ThyssenKrupp – chassis design & manufacture
- Unipres – body panels & metal stamping
- GKN – driveline & engine internals
- Shakespeare Forgings – engine blocks & internals
Research & development
- Aston University – environmental technologies
- BCU (Birmingham City University) – low carbon automotive research & design
- University of Birmingham – alternative fuels & engine testing
- WMG – premium vehicle customer interface technologies