Latest cross-party report calls on government to deliver strategy for growth and improved access to finance

10 July 2012 #SMMT News

A cross-party group of MPs and Peers will today publish a report calling on government to continue to work with the UK automotive industry to establish a long-term framework for growth and ensure companies can access the finance required to deliver growth opportunities.

The report, Delivering opportunities: Automotive investment for growth, is based on the discussions of the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group (APMG) with parliamentarians, ministers, officials, industry representatives and trade unions over the last year.

The report welcomes investment in the industry over the last 18 months but stresses the need for a long-term growth plan. It looks at both the challenges and opportunities facing the UK automotive industry including the strength of the supply chain; low carbon technology and consumer choices; access to finance and investment; and collaboration between motorsport and other industries.

The APMG makes four key recommendations to government:

1.   Government should establish structured dialogue between the financial and automotive industries in order to enable businesses across automotive and manufacturing sectors to access finance.

2.   Government should bring forward innovative support to allow smaller supply chain firms to take on apprentices and increase efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in schools.

3.   Government should bolster its offer of support for low carbon R&D and incentives for charging infrastructure, and include opportunities for low carbon vehicle purchasing in its review of procurement.

4.   Government should support the motorsport industry to create a technology roadmap and collaborate with other industries including aerospace, automotive and defence.

The report has been submitted to government ministers, shadow ministers and the chairmen of the Business, Science and Treasury Select Committees.

Richard Burden MP, Chair of the APMG, said:

“It has been a momentous 12 months for the UK automotive industry. Over £5.6 billion of investment has been committed by automotive companies across the country. Only yesterday, BMW announced a further £250 million investment in the MINI at its UK plants in Oxford, Swindon and Hams Hall.

“On Sunday, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was won in a Red Bull, one of the eight F1 teams based here in the UK. And whilst I don’t want to take anything away from Mark Webber’s Australian pedigree, he too lives here in Britain.

‘The UK is also home to seven volume car manufacturers, six commercial vehicle manufacturers, 11 bus and coach manufacturers and more than 100 specialist vehicle manufacturers. The industry produces over one million cars every year and supports over 700,000 jobs.

“Amidst the backdrop of a challenging economy and the search for an achievable plan for growth, the UK automotive industry has demonstrated that it is already delivering on opportunities to advance UK ambitions as a leading manufacturing force.

“There have been many recent successes but industry and government cannot be complacent. More needs to be done to build on these foundations and set a long-term framework for growth.”

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