VrOOm! Car industry to get £1bn funding injection

Vince Cable has announced a new partnership aimed at giving the car industry some more va va voom

by Gabriella Griffith
Last Updated: 10 Sep 2013
The car industry has had a great start to the weekend. This morning it heard Vince Cable reveal the details of a new £1bn investment deal which will give the green light to a swathe of manufacturing projects.  

The government and the car industry have agreed to plough £500m each into the sector over the next ten years. The new funding follows the £6bn inward investment into the industry over the last two years by global automotive companies – well, if they’re doing it why not follow suit?

‘The UK automotive sector has been incredibly successful in recent times, with billions of pounds of investment and new jobs,’ said Mr Cable.

‘This has been achieved by government and industry working together.’

Cable made the announcement following the publishing of a policy paper – ‘Driving success: UK automotive strategy for growth and sustainability’. Back in June Business Minister Cable also revealed plans to set up the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) – a group designed to attract inward investment into the sector.

The investment will be used to fund a number of projects including the creation of an Advanced Propulsion Centre (to research low-carbon engines), the hiring of thousands of motor industry apprenticeships and increased manufacturing for tools in the motor supply chain.

According to government findings, foreign direct investment has ‘created or safeguarded’ 7,500 jobs over the past three years – a figure which the AIO hoped to double.

‘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,’ said Mike Baunton, interim chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

‘Our goals are to grow vehicle production and component supply with more investment, jobs and advanced technology developed in the UK. 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.’

Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover has experienced a turbo-charged boost in sales of 14% in the first six months of 2013.  In China alone, sales of Jaguars overtook the total for all of 2012.

It’s hoped this is just the start of a bumper year for the British carmaker whose ‘secret weapon’ the Jaguar F-Type is about to go on sale to a pant-wettingly excited crowd of global car enthusiasts.

With the new investment and impressive performance from homegrown brands, is the car industry getting the buff and polish it needs to restore some of its former glory?

Drive on and let’s find out…

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