An engineering apprentice turned global sales expert is set to help West Midlands' suppliers make the most of £500 million of opportunities identified across Europe.
Allen Matty, who has more 20 years' experience of trading in 32 different countries, has joined supply chain initiative Accelerate as its new international project manager.
The 41-yearold, who began his career as an apprentice at Delta Metals in Aston, is already looking to help firms gain contracts on 267 new models and platforms for launch in the next five years.
The appointment comes just one week on from the automotive supply chain initiative's tenth anniversary and will boost its capacity to research and develop new business leads in hotspots, such as Slovakia, Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.
He said: "This is a very exciting time for the industry, as it looks to make the most of globalisation and an increasing need to add value to everything they do.
"My first task will be to take up the management of the Eurozone project, which is looking to match capacity and capabilities in the West Midlands, with new models and platforms set to be introduced across Europe.
"There has been a lot of research already completed and we are now in an excellent position to explore a £500 million treasure chest through 'meet the buyer' events, trade trips and strategic meetings."
In total, twelve car manufacturers and over 420 tier one customers have been identified and Accelerate is now in the process of enlisting a group of suppliers who are keen to forge new working relationships, targeting projects between now and 2010.
The Eurozone support would see companies able to tap into business development grants along with technology transfer centres.
The aim would be for them to introduce new processes, products, strike joint venture agreements and even launch their own foreign plants.
Mr Matty said: "Never before has there been a project of this magnitude and we are hoping that as it develops we may be able to launch similar schemes in Asia/South America and maybe even expand it to include any auto supplier in the UK."