Auto industry gains government backing

Posted on 8 Apr 2008 by The Manufacturer

A new automotive industry-specific investigation has been launched by Business Minister Shriti Vadera, aiming to identify ways of balancing and tackling the current challenges of low cost competition and the developing need to produce lower-carbon vehicles.

“The UK’s car industry is one of the most successful in the world, with a number of manufacturers currently enjoying record levels of production at their UK plants,” said Vadera. “But the industry, like many others, is facing a number of challenges as it moves into the next decade… We need to ensure our car industry can build on its existing strengths and remain competitive in an increasingly globalised world.”

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt has welcomed the news, saying that the organisation “will work closely with Business Minister Vadera and the Department for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) officials to create a plan that builds upon the strengths of the sector and addresses the challenges facing the industry.”

The investigation will also look to improve the UK’s supply chain relationships and capabilities – “A strong local supply chain is essential if we are to retain and increase vehicle manufacturers’ investment in the UK,” said Vadera.

The New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT) will be headed up by former Ford VP Richard Parry-Jones CBE. “I am looking forward to working with colleagues to define the challenges and suggest ways to enhance our ability to meet them through collaboration,” he said.