Some of the biggest car manufacturers in Europe have been to Downing Street to discuss the growing confidence in the UK automotive industry and the Government’s commitment to its success.
It came as German car maker BMW announced an additional £500 million investment in its UK production network over the next three years and confirmed that the UK will be a production location for its next generation MINI models, helping to safeguard over 5,000 jobs.
It follows the announcement from Nissan that workers in Britain will design, engineer and build the next version of the best-selling Nissan Qashqai. This £192 million investment will help safeguard 6,000 jobs, both direct and indirect through the UK supply chain.
The Prime Minister hosted the meeting with the Board of Directors of the European Automobile Manufacturer’s Association (ACEA) in Downing Street this morning. The ACEA then held their annual conference in London, the first time that they have met in the UK.
The ACEA represents some of the biggest car, truck and bus manufacturers at European level such as Fiat, Volvo, Renault, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Toyota, which has a plant in Derbyshire.
The meeting was a clear indication of the real strength of the UK’s automotive sector and that the Government’s focus on growth, manufacturing and skills has gained international recognition.
The Business Secretary Vince Cable and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne also launched the next stage of the Government’s Growth Review today setting out the new sectors and themes which can make a substantial contribution to the economy and have the potential to drive growth in other areas.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’m delighted that so many automobile manufacturers are actually bringing production and supply chain back to the UK.
“We want to do everything we can to encourage that by reducing our rates of corporate tax and setting up the Regional Growth Fund, which is assisting a number of automotive companies.
“We are putting money into advanced manufacturing technology and innovation centres and expanding the number of apprenticeships.
“We really want to see the automotive industry flourish and we are determined to do the things to help it succeed.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Today’s conference in London shows the growing international recognition of our automotive industry and the interest in our national ambition to generate growth in the whole advanced manufacturing sector.
“Car makers are boosting their investment in Britain. Nissan will design and develop the new Qashqai in the UK and BMW is building the new generation of MINI here as well as putting £500m into their UK manufacturing operations.
“These decisions show the strength and competitiveness of our automotive sector, the skills base that drives our economy and the ambition of the business community to secure long-term growth, which we are taking every available step to support.”