Colchester’s Ultimotive Ltd has received much media coverage recently, with the company’s grant of appointment of the Queen’s Award for International Trade in April 2019.
Ultimotive’s Founder and Managing Director Andy Smith, explains how a Queen’s Award can become a unique selling point for a company that exports its products.
The history behind the Ultimotive brand
Ultimotive specialises in car cleaning chemicals. The bulk of its business is with car dealers for paint protection. Products are used for cleaning cars throughout the Middle East and other countries throughout the world – including the UK.
Ultimotive develops, manufactures, markets and supplies its innovative chemical cleaning products from its headquarters in Colchester, Essex. Founded in 2003 by Managing Director Andy Smith, the company supplies major brands under licence including Williams F1, MotoGP, Michelin, McLaren, Turtle Wax Pro, Stayzon and its own label Caiman.
In addition, it ‘white-labels’ products for customers with specialist needs, to market under their own brand.
In July 2019, the company has signed a long-term contract with McLaren Racing to supply products worldwide. Halfords launched 16 of Ultimotive’s products in 150+ stores in the UK and is increasing to all 400 stores by the end of September.
Also in July 2019, Mrs Jennifer Tolhurst, Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Essex, officially visited the company’s headquarters to present the grant of appointment, personally signed by HRH Queen Elizabeth, as well as an engraved Dartington crystal bowl. In her speech, Mrs Tolhust noted that the Queen’s Award for Enterprise is the highest award that a UK company can receive. She praised some of Ultimotives successes, which include an increase in export sales of almost 300% in the
period 2015-17. The award ceremony audience included local authority representatives such as the Deputy Mayor, Council Officers from Braintree, Chelmsford, Essex and Colchester councils, St Helena’s Hospice and members of the private sector.
Looking back, in 2016, the company was chosen to work with a business mentor under the Essex Innovation Programme, which was managed and funded by Essex County Council. As part of its strategic planning for business development, the company decided to apply for the Queen’s Award for International Trade. The Directors knew that they had met the entry criteria, as exports had grown by almost 300% over the prescribed period.
About the Queen’s Awards
The Queen's Awards for Enterprise is an awards programme for British businesses and other organizations who excel at international trade, innovation or sustainable development. They are the highest official UK awards for British businesses. Now in its 53rd year, the Queen’s Awards include previous winners J.P Morgan, iCandy, Veolia and Willmott Dixon. Click here for more information.
Smith explained “Our rationale for applying was that the Queen’s Award would give our brand even more kudos across the globe. The award helps to build an overall image of our quality and is an impressive moniker for our clients in the Middle East.
As one of only three Essex-based winners in 2019, Ultimotive
- attended a Royal reception at Buckingham Palace
- was presented with the award the Queen’s representative - the Lord-Lieutenant of Essex
- flies the Queen’s Awards flag at its main office on the Severalls Business Park in Colchester
- uses the emblem on its marketing materials (e.g. packaging, advertisements, stationery and website)
- was given a Grant of Appointment (an official certificate) and a commemorative crystal trophy
The awards are valid for 5 years.
Andy Smith receives the Queens Award for Enterprise from Essexs Lord-Lieutenant
Ultimotive’s excellence in international trade
The company recently secured a contract to supply its Williams Paint Protection products to Abdul Jameel Latif – the largest Toyota dealership/distributor in Saudi Arabia.
Ultimotive also signed a significant deal with a company in Oman to ‘white label’ its products for sale in the Oman market, stating that the products are ‘manufactured in the UK’.
Smith noted, “The Middle East is our main market, although we also export into Australia, South Africa and Scandinavia. We’re currently talking to potential partners in Brazil and North America as well.
Development of products to suit the sandy and extreme conditions in the Middle East resulted in Ultimotive securing a £500,000 contract with Qatar Airways to clean 3,000 airside vehicles.
The Brexit question…..
Andy Smith explained “Brexit should not have a direct impact on our business as we don’t sell too much into mainland Europe because we’ve more interest further afield. We currently don’t procure anything from Europe either, as we manufacture everything in the UK."
The future for Ultimotive is bright and shiny (like a clear car!!). New products are being considered all the time and will be launched around the globe.
For more information on Ultimotive, visit Ultimotive.com