Government and industry announce £1bn automotive investment

Posted on 12 Jul 2013
Jaguar Land Rover Evoque manufacture

The 'Driving Success' strategy was launched today by business secretary Vince Cable and Professor Richard Parry-Jones, co-chairs of the Automotive Council, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

The long-term strategy focuses on four key areas – technology and innovation; supply chain; skills and business environment.

A combined £1bn package will be invested in the automotive industry, with £500m from government and the other half from industry.

New centre

The funding is to be invested in the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) to research, develop and commercialise future engine technologies.

The location of the centre is yet to be announced but the department for Business Innovation and Skills expect it to be open by 2014.

The Government also announced the creation of an “Automotive Investment Organisation”. The new body will work to double the number of jobs created or secured in the automotive supply chain over the next three years to 15,000.

Mr Cable stressed the importance of government and industry working together in order to make the UK automotive industry a world leader.

“The UK automotive sector has been incredibly successful in recent times, with billions of pounds of investment and new jobs. This has been achieved by government and industry working together.

“With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies we need to maintain this momentum and act now. Our industrial strategy will ensure we keep on working together to make our automotive industry a world leader.”

Work and investment drive

The new APC centre is predicted to secure 30,000 jobs in the automotive sector and create thousands of new jobs across the supply chain.

The Automotive Council is also aiming to recruit more than 7,600 apprentices and 1,700 graduates over the next five years in a drive to bring jobs to the industry.

In addition, a new Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) will be created within UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to improve the image of the nation as an automotive supplier, in order to attract investment.

The AIO will funded by up to £3 million over the next two years and led by Joe Greenwell, the former chairman of Ford of  Britain. It will take strategic direction from the Automotive  Council.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, approved of the areas targeted for investment by the Government.

“This strategy sets out a bold vision for long-term growth right across the automotive sector, which is at the front line of the drive to rebalance our economy.

“The £1bn investment in a new centre for cutting-edge engine technologies should go a long way towards making the UK a globally-competitive place for automotive research and development.

“Strengthening the supply chain is rightly identified as a major priority. The creation of the new Automotive Investment Organisation will help, alongside action to improve suppliers’ access to finance and delivering on the skills roadmap so firms of all sizes can access a wider pool of talented graduates and apprentices.”