AM Online

The Government view

An insight into politicians’ plans for the automotive industry and an analysis of current policy issues will be provided at autoretailing 05 by Minister of State for Industry and the Regions, Alun Michael. He replaces Jacqui Smith MP following the Labour Government’s cabinet reshuffle last month.

Michael is responsible for supporting successful enterprises, with a portfolio that includes the Small Business Service and e-commerce. His session will examine upcoming UK legislation that is likely to affect the automotive industry. The Minister will also be taking part in the Q&A session, moderated by conference chairman Huw Edwards.

“I am looking forward to addressing autoretailing 05 and to have an opportunity to discuss key issues with leaders of the industry,” says Michael.

Labour and Co-operative MP for Cardiff South and Penarth since 1987, Michael was Deputy Home Secretary from 1997-98, then became Secretary of State for Wales and Minister for Rural Affairs. In 2001, he chaired Parliamentary Hearings on volunteering in the UK.

Joining Michael as speakers at the Strategy Conference on Day 1 (June 22) of autoretailing 05 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham are Roger Penske, the chairman and CEO of America’s United Auto Group; Mark Berrisford-Smith, senior economist at HSBC Bank; RMI chief executive Matthew Carrington; Paul Burrows and Nigel Ruddock of Grant Thornton Motor Retail; Harley-Davidson Europe’s MD John Russell; and Professor Leslie de Chernatony of Birmingham Business School. More speakers will be announced in the next issue of AM.

Many dealers have tremendous opportunities to fund their plans for growth by taking a new approach to property management. That’s according to Kevin Hines, the director of property advisory services at Grant Thornton Motor Retail who speaks on Day 2 (June 23).

Dealer groups are facing pressure on capital today, he believes – particularly those with ambitions to expand and acquire new outlets. Coupled with the vehicle manufacturers’ continuing drive to raise dealer standards, this often translates into spending more money on property. Yet, they also often have large amounts of capital tied up in property which they own.

Day 2 also offers a comprehensive programme of management development workshops.

Following a keynote address from Sir Tom Farmer, industry experts will offer impartial advice to help the managers take their careers and their businesses to the next level of performance. Delegates can choose which of up to four workshops they want to attend, prior to the event taking place. Institute of the Motor Industry members who attend will receive credit towards their IMI Continuing Professional Development requirement.

  • For further information on autoretailing 05, June 22 and 23, contact Luke Clements on 01733 468325, email luke.clements@emap.com. Details on www.autoretailing.co.uk.
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