The UK government has guaranteed a £450m loan from the European Investment Bank to Ford for the development of new eco-engines.
The money will form part of the company’s total investment of £1.5bn into low carbon technologies.
“Ford has an impressive track record in research and development,” said business minister, Mark Prisk. “Its investment of GBP1.5bn over the next five years is a great opportunity to take the lead in developing low carbon manufacturing. This backing from the government will help to ensure the long term success of manufacturing in the UK and make sure we are at the forefront of new technologies.”
The carmaker will use the government money to research and develop commercial vehicles (Transit and Connect vans) and the development of low carbon emission diesel and petrol engines.
The investments include upgrades to existing UK facilities, including the ones in Bridgend, Dunton, Dagenham and Southampton. Ford no longer manufactures vehicles in the UK and therefore the money will go into R&D and engine production. Approximately 25% of all Ford engines are made in the UK.
According to Joe Greenwell, Ford of Britain chairman: “This EIB loan, and the loan guarantee from the UK government, will help to unlock up to GBP1.5bn in low carbon and environmentally friendly engine and vehicle technology investment over the next five years. This is a testament to the skills and capabilities of our UK workforce and demonstrates the scale of our commitment to Britain.”