A joint UK motor industry and government automotive strategy has today committed to invest well over £1bn in additional funds over the next 10 years to secure the growth and development of its vehicle and component manufacturing sector.
This new funding supports multi-billion pound investments announced in the last few years by global automotive companies to boost production levels and develop new technologies and models.
Developed under Automotive Council guidance, industry and government will fund and resource investments in a range of projects including the creation of an Advanced Propulsion Centre, thousands of new motor industry apprenticeships and the creation of an Automotive Investment Organisation.
The development of the strategy also sees the provision of finance for tooling investments in the supply chain, and a renewed commitment to encourage the UK as a lead market in the production and sale of low emission vehicles.
The key elements of the strategy include:
¦ Technology - the creation of an Advanced Propulsion Centre to support and enhance the UK’s expertise in research and development.
¦ Inward investment - the creation of the Automotive Investment Organisation to drive UK investment by global automotive component companies.
¦ Skills - an industry framework for skills and a skills roadmap, including the creation of 7,600 apprenticeships and 1,700 graduate opportunities in the automotive industry.
¦ Supply chain - driving growth and competitiveness including creating a framework with suppliers, vehicle manufacturers and banking organisations to solve the problem of financing tooling investment.
¦ Low carbon - financial support to encourage consumers into lower emission vehicles, and to grow investment in the manufacture of low and ultra-low emissions vehicles and components.
¦ Business environment - establishing better cross-government relationships by including HM Treasury on the Automotive Council to ensure the UK remains an attractive place to invest.
"The motor industry is a major contributor to the UK economy and has been increasing that contribution in a challenging economic environment. In partnership with government, we have now developed a roadmap to secure further long-term growth that is detailed in the strategy document launched today.
"Our goals are to grow vehicle production and component supply with more investment, jobs and advanced technology developed in the UK," said Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive.
"The Automotive Council is an exemplar of industry and government working together to build long-term success and it is through the Council that we will implement the roadmap.
"I am confident that the strategy and the joint investment by government and the industry will make the UK an even more attractive place to design, build and sell automotive components and vehicles."
Sue Robinson, National Franchised Dealers Association director, said: “The whole automotive sector, including the motor retail division, is vital to the performance of the UK economy.
“Whilst we see the Government commitment to the sector a very positive move it is vital that the retail sector is included in the investment plans.
"The retail sector is a fundamental division within the supply chain and heavily invests in infrastructure and equipment to deliver high quality service to consumers when buying and maintaining cars.
“The NFDA has long been dedicated to securing the best skills for the industry. Therefore we support the Automotive Council’s apprentice and graduate recruitment drive.”