New chief executive for £1bn Advanced Propulsion Centre

Posted on 12 Aug 2015 by Jonny Williamson

The UK’s low carbon propulsion industry takes another major step forward with the announcement of Ian Constance as the new CEO for the Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC).

Ian Constance will take up the position in September 2015 for the £1bn programme which helps turn low carbon propulsion concepts into products developed and produced in the UK.

Chairman of the Advanced Propulsion Centre, Dr Gerhard Schmidt welcomed Ian to the role.

He commented: “[Constance] brings a wealth of global experience from 25 years in the automotive industry which will enable him to help organisations with the development of low carbon propulsion technology in the UK.”

“[He] will take over the leadership of the APC from Tony Pixton, who has completed his assignment to deliver a successful fast start-up for the organisation.

“On behalf of the APC Board and our Stakeholders I would like to thank him for his leadership, and to welcome his continued service as a member of the APC Board, ensuring continuity and access to his experience as we continue the important work of delivering opportunities and growth for the UK automotive sector.”

Anna Soubry, Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise
Anna Soubry, Minister for Business Innovation and Skills.

Minister for Business Innovation and Skills, Anna Soubry said: “I am very proud of our automotive sector and the Government will continue to work with industry to ensure its star shines brightly.

“Ian Constance brings global expertise and knowledge to the APC as it seeks to accelerate the development and production of new green technologies which can secure future jobs in the industry.”

Constance joins the APC from Ford Motor Company in Detroit where he was most recently global chief engineer for Large Cars.

Following an engineering degree at Aston University and MSc at Loughborough University, Ian has worked with Ford in the UK; Germany; Thailand; China, and the US in various leadership roles with a strong focus on new product development and launch.

He described joining the APC and leading the future development of the collaboration between government and industry as a “great privilege”.

Constance added: “I look forward to working with the wide range of APC partner organisations; academic institutions; SMEs; suppliers, and manufacturers to focus our national resources as we create the Propulsion Nation, delivering growth in the automotive industry.”

Infographic - impact of APC investments committed so far.
Infographic – impact of APC investments committed so far.

Commenting on the appointment, GKN chief executive and industry chair of the Automotive Council, Nigel Stein, said: “The APC was created by the Automotive Council to be a game changing addition to the innovation system in the UK, and it has made remarkable progress under the guidance of Tony Pixton during the start-up phase.

“The industry welcomes the news that Ian Constance will take over the leadership as the APC continues on its journey to position the UK as a global centre of excellence in low carbon propulsion technology.”

In the past 16 months, the APC has invested in ten projects worth more than £174m, involving 54 organisations which will create or secure at least 4,500 jobs in the UK.

The technology will reduce emissions of Co2 by more than 12m tonnes, driving growth for the UK’s automotive manufacturing sector in bus; commercial vehicle; engine; off highway; passenger car, and van applications.