She spent time with major UK manufacturers at their stands, including Jaguar Land Rover, based in the Midlands, and Toyota UK, which employs over 3000 staff in England and Wales. In particular, she highlighted the positive impact of growing UK car sales on British employment and the UK’s recovery, as well as the importance of apprenticeship schemes run by many manufacturers.
In July 2013, the UK Automotive Industrial Strategy committed to recruiting 7,200 apprentices and 1,700 graduates into the sector by 2018. This looks set to be exceeded, with latest projections at 10,000 apprentices and 2,000 graduate recruits.
Baroness Anelay also visited the Bentley show stand, where the company were unveiling a new two-seater prototype car. At the stand, she said:
I am delighted to see such a strong UK presence at the Geneva Motorshow. The companies I have met today are all fantastic examples of a revitalised UK industry which is the only growing manufacturer of cars in Western Europe and the third largest producer on the continent. Bentley’s new prototype, which I saw today, again outlines the depth and breadth of UK ability in automotive.
Not only are we a leading destination for production, but also in luxury cars and for cutting-edge design and research. I thoroughly enjoyed being an ambassador for such a positive UK story.
Whilst a vehicle already rolls of a UK production line every 20 seconds, the success story is set to continue. UK production is expected to exceed 2 million vehicles by 2018.
The AIO works with BIS to promote UK Automotive overseas. It focuses on driving foreign investment into the UK supply chain, research and development, and motorsport sectors. In 2013 we secured £457 million of investment and over 5,600 jobs in the UK.