The closure of MG Rover boosted attendance at an automotive Meet The Buyer event in Birmingham yesterday - making it the biggest in the UK for years.
Over 160 supply companies were at Edgbaston cricket ground to meet nearly 60 buyer specialists from such companies as Leyland Trucks, General Motors, Cosworth and Lexfleetserve.
Organised by Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry and funded by the Accelerate programme, it attracted supply companies from all over the UK, 50 per cent of which were from the West Midlands.
Some 1,200 15-minute face-to-face interviews were organised during the day.
More than a third of the companies which attended were expected to find new business opportunities from the millions of pounds worth of openings on offer from the buyers of anything from fabrication to specialist machined components.
David Draycott, executive director of the Chamber, who opened the event, said: "Even before the MG Rover announcement, interest from both buyers and supplier companies was high.
The closure of MG Rover and the impact on the supply base in this region has meant that the event is now one of the largest ones for the automotive sector in the UK. "The demise of MG Rover has left many supplier companies with excess capacity as a result of smaller order books."
He added: "The problems were compounded for a number because the closure left them with immediate debt problems. Through the Accelerate programme, the MG Rover Taskforce has supported over 150 companies with a six-week wage replacement programme."