World news story

British automotive excellence on show as the McLaren Epic NZ Tour takes off

A fleet of iconic McLaren supercars took to New Zealand’s roads this week.


A fleet of iconic McLaren supercars took to New Zealand’s roads this week, just days after British Chancellor Philip Hammond MP delivered his Autumn Statement, revealing substantial investment into research & development which will further enhance the automotive industry and pave the way for more international brands, like McLaren, to succeed in the UK.

The McLaren Epic NZ Tour pays tribute to kiwi-born founder Bruce McLaren, and marks the launch of a ground-breaking new partnership between McLaren and The University of Auckland, giving engineering students the opportunity to follow in his footsteps with a research scholarship at their HQ in Woking, UK. The UK’s Department for International Trade works closely with the automotive industries in both New Zealand and the UK and provides support to companies wishing to collaborate or export.

Jonathan Sinclair, British High Commissioner to New Zealand said:

As a kiwi himself, Bruce McLaren has undoubtedly helped to shape the UK automotive industry, known for its innovation and technological expertise, and we are thrilled to see this in action. The McLaren brand is a testament to the long-standing collaborative relationship that New Zealand and the UK holds and is a showcase for British automotive innovation and excellence, recognised all over the world.

The UK government is committed to the automotive industry’s continued success and is contributing over £1.2 billion to automotive research funds, covering low carbon propulsion, lightweight materials and connected and autonomous vehicles.

The Chancellor’s recent Autumn Statement also revealed a National Productivity Investment Fund of £23 billion, and an extra £2 billion per year by 2020-21 of spending on research & development, which will both be of substantial benefit to the industry.

The UK’s car industry had a turnover of £64 billion in 2014, making it the fastest growing in Europe, driven by an increasing demand for UK components and a supportive business environment.

There are 4,500 companies involved in the UK Motorsport and Performance Engineering industry, supporting 41,000 jobs.

The industry creates an annual turnover of £6 billion, £3.6 billion of which is from exports, and almost nine out of ten British motorsport companies export their products or services around the world. The fleet of McLaren cars are traveling the North and South Islands, and includes a special 675LT model bearing Union Jack branding as part of the Great Britain campaign and being driven by British racing driver Derek Bell.

About the Department for International Trade

The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has overall responsibility for promoting UK trade across the world and attracting foreign investment to our economy. We are a specialised government body with responsibility for negotiating international trade policy, supporting business, as well as delivering an outward-looking trade diplomacy strategy.

Published 30 November 2016