Joining Richard Parry Jones, Co-Chairman of the Automotive Council and former Ford Motor Company Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, industry experts and leading automotive economists explored the current state of play in automotive sector finance at today’s SMMT International Automotive Summit.
Richard Hill, Head of Automotive Services at RBS, investor and CEO at IPSO Ventures, Nick Rodgers and Ian Henry, owner of the automotive research consultancy, AutoAnalysis, led the discussion on recent, widespread investment into manufacturing and development by vehicle manufacturers in the UK and how this can strengthen relationships between automotive business, government and the finance sector.
Parry Jones and Henry, who has conducted in-depth research into the level of investment in UK plc by automotive operators on behalf of SMMT, with the aim of securing further investment for suppliers, set the scene by outlining the positives, citing an industry turnover of £50 billion, a production growth forecast from 1.3 million vehicles manufactured in 2010 to a projected 1.9 million in 2015 and the fact that British vehicle and engine production is growing at a faster rate than across Europe. “UK production is set to grow by 40% by 2015, as opposed to by 25% in France and 14% in Germany”, said Ian, “and industry efforts have led to continued government support for the manufacturing economy,” said Henry.
With first-hand investment experience, Nick Rodgers explored the finance-raising opportunities for the immediate future, pointing to the need to balance risk for investors and look to step-change, hybrid and electric technologies as attractive to the financiers – which bodes well, as Ian reminded delegates that “the UK is at the centre of an expanding low carbon economy.”
Summing up the session, Parry Jones pointed out that, “OEMs want to source more from the UK and we have terrific momentum, exceeding expectation. We must continue to demonstrate high performance on our existing successes, in powertrain, trim and electronics and make it our priority is to build on this success.”
Click through for more information, news and photos from the 2011 International Automotive Summit.