A special forum for suppliers to discuss the crisis facing the automotive industry is due to be held in the West Midlands this week.

Accelerate has joined forces with Business Link in the West Midlands and the Manufacturing Advisory Service to host the event on Wednesday at Birmingham Chamber of Commerce, with the aim of getting a snapshot of current difficulties.

Companies involved in car component manufacturing are being urged to attend so they can talk about their problems, including the loss of credit facilities, halt in production, and sudden losses in company turnover.

Experts will be on hand to work with firms on individual problems and also to explain the support schemes currently available that might help suppliers overcome the current slowdown.

“There is so much information flying around the shop floor and the factories, it is difficult to gain a full picture of what is going on out there,” said Rachel Eade, programme manager at Accelerate. “This forum will provide first-hand insight into exactly how companies are coping and, importantly, what we can do to help.”

“Advantage West Midlands has already launched the Transition Fund, which provides loans to viable businesses ranging from £50,000 to £250,000. This, for instance, could be useful in providing quick access to temporary funding to help with cash flow.

“The car makers halting production at very short notice is causing established and successful businesses many problems and we are committed to making sure we provide the advice, guidance and support needed by these companies.”

Richard Crooks, of Business Link, said: “The automotive sector is an integral part of our regional economy and we need to ensure that the skills we have built up over many years are not lost for the future.”

* Places are limited to West Midland automotive manufacturers and can be booked by contacting Accelerate on 0121 607 0123 or by emailing tmohammad-ali@accelerate.uk.net.  Delegates should arrive at 8.15am for a 8.30am start.