Ultimotive, a car care specialist headquartered in Colchester, has secured a £500,000 contract with Qatar Airways with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Established in 2003, Ultimotive is a family-run business that develops, markets and supplies chemical cleaning products for the global automotive industry. The company supplies to major brands including Williams F1, MotoGP and Michelin, and was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in 2019.
The business had developed new products designed to protect car paintwork from harsh weather conditions including sandstorms and extreme heat. According to TechSci Research, car parts, components and accessories will be worth $16 billion in the Middle East by 2022. This, paired with the extreme climate, presents a huge opportunity to export specialist cleaning products to the region.
The new contract with Qatar Airways will see the business supply chemical products used for car washing and valeting, automotive polishing and vehicle paint protection services. This will support the maintenance of 3,000 airside vehicles at Qatar Airways’ hub at Doha International Airport.
The new contract with Qatar Airways is a huge win for the business and will help open up doors and lead to more opportunities in the Middle East
International Trade Advisers (ITAs) at DIT have been helping the business to export since 2016, when they introduced Ultimotive to UK Export Finance (UKEF). The business was able to access the working capital required to increase its capacity and complete international orders. To support the new contract with Qatar Airways, DIT also provided Ultimotive with training on paperwork and regulations in the Middle East to ensure its chemical cleaning products complied with local laws.
“I’d encourage anyone thinking about exporting to do as much research as possible and team up with advisers like DIT and UKEF”
Andy Smith, Managing Director at Ultimotive, said: “There are a lot of regulations to understand around exporting chemical products to the Middle East. DIT helped us to navigate these, meaning we felt confident we could meet all international requirements before exporting to new markets like Qatar. We’ve found that being a British business has given us extra credibility in the Middle East and we have now added a Union Jack to our products as a result.
“I’d encourage anyone thinking about exporting to do as much research as possible and team up with advisers like DIT and UKEF. If we can go from a small, garage business, to a major contract with Qatar Airways, there’s no reason why other businesses in the East of England can’t too.”
Thinley Topden, DIT’s Head of Exports in the East of England, said: “Ultimotive recognised that weather conditions were creating problems for commercial vehicles in the Middle East and that it had a solution to provide.
“The new contract with Qatar Airways is a huge win for the business and will help open up doors and lead to more opportunities in the Middle East, and we’re looking forward to seeing the success that the business has in store in the weeks and months ahead.
“We have a dedicated team of ITAs based on the ground in the East of England to help local businesses to export. We offer a range of practical support and guidance, including training, introduction to international contacts and funding support.”