Ford has taken a £650 million loan to boost its investment into the development of electrification and smart mobility solutions in the UK – with the help of a £500m Government loan guarantee.
International Trade Secretary Liz Truss sealed the finance deal during a visit to the car and commercial vehicle manufacturer’s engine plant at Dagenham this week.
Export Finance (UKEF) will provide the guarantee under its Export Development Guarantee (EDG), a new facility launched to support high-value commercial lending to UK exporters.
Truss said: “This deal firmly puts the UK at the heart of Ford’s plans to grow its export business, reduce emissions and support skilled manufacturing jobs.
“A thriving automotive industry is vital to the success of the UK economy.
“It brings prosperity and security to manufacturers across the country. That’s why we are putting its needs at the heart of our strategy to remove barriers to trade when negotiating free trade deals."
Before now, UKEF’s support had to be tied to an individual export contract.
Now the fund is able to support a company’s general export activities using the EDG, unlocking its financial support for companies that wish to: secure working capital to bid for multiple export contracts; scale up their existing export activities; and invest in new premises and technologies linked to exports.
Ford of Britain is one of the UK’s largest exporters and the company already exports to more than 15 countries in 6 continents, with overseas sales generating around £2.5 billion annually.
Ford will use the new funding to increase Ford’s capacity to: export from the UK; support investment into electrification, digital manufacturing and smart mobility solutions; and upskill its UK workforce to safeguard thousands of highly skilled jobs at the Ford Britain Dunton Campus in Essex and engine production centre in Dagenham.
Ford of Britain chairman, Graham Hoare, said: “Ford’s manufacturing operations are already an export success story, with around 85% of engines and 100% of transmissions built in the UK exported. This financing will help to maintain Ford as a key UK exporter.
“I would like to thank UKEF for their confidence, and Citi who acted as coordinator and facility agent for the £625m loan facility with a repayment term of five years.”