News story

Invest in the UK business minister tells manufacturers at Paris Motor Show

Mark Prisk will be asking an international line up of manufacturers and suppliers attending the Reception at the British Embassy to take a fresh…

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government


Mark Prisk will be asking an international line up of manufacturers and suppliers attending the Reception at the British Embassy to take a fresh look at what the UK can offer potential investors in terms of engineering expertise, skilled workforce, innovation and cutting edge design as the UK aims to take the lead in low carbon automotive technologies.

Eleven of the world’s volume vehicle manufacturers have a base in the UK, supported by 19 of the world’s top 20 suppliers with particular strengths in premium vehicles and advanced powertrain, from low carbon internal combustion engines to innovative electric drive trains.

With the first European mass market hybrid vehicle being built in the UK, the first hybrid engine built outside of Japan, the first mass market pure electric car and a major electric battery plant, the UK can demonstrate the wide range of new, low carbon and related business opportunities available to potential investors in the UK automotive industry.

Mark Prisk said:

“I’m delighted that such a large number of prestigious international companies are attending this event. Many automotive companies have already found that the UK can offer a sound business investment opportunity. It’s a message that the Automotive Council and the Government as a full partner in the Council wants to spread further.

“The Government is committed to creating the right business conditions for success and industry wants to source more from the UK. We are already seeing vibrant new clusters emerging from the transition to a low carbon economy and we want to encourage even greater growth as the market demand for low and ultra low carbon vehicles takes hold.”

The Business Minister will be accompanied to the event and the Paris Motor Show by the Co-Chairman of the Automotive Council, Richard Parry-Jones. They will be meeting top executives from a number of UK and global manufacturers and suppliers.

Professor Richard Parry-Jones said:

“We are in Paris to meet the key decision makers in the global automotive industry. Our message is that the UK automotive sector has been transformed over the last decade and that the UK Government is strategically committed.

“The UK is a uniquely attractive country in which to invest, especially in innovative low carbon transport R&D. We have a very competitive, strong and diverse vehicle industry and companies from around the world are achieving their goals by taking full advantage of the UK’s world class universities, innovative companies and strong skill base.

“For companies already investing in the UK, there are significant opportunities to increase local sourcing. The Automotive Council UK is working to help them realise these opportunities fast.”

Notes to editors:

  1. The Automotive Council was announced on 12 November 2009 as part of the previous Government’s response to recommendations made in the industry-led report from the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT). NAIGT was chaired by Richard Parry-Jones. It had its first meeting in December 2009. Its main aims are to enhance the attractiveness of the UK as a location for global automotive investment, promote UK-based manufacturers and technologies and strengthen the supply chain, and position the UK as a leading global player in developing ultra-low carbon technologies.

  2. The Automotive Council is co-chaired by the Business Secretary Vince Cable and Richard Parry-Jones. It has two sub-Groups - the Supply Chain Group chaired by Bill Parfitt (GMUK) and the Technology Group is chaired by Jerry Hardcastle (Nissan).

  3. 180,000 people, or 6 per cent of the entire UK manufacturing workforce, are directly employed in over 3,300 unique automotive businesses. A further 200,000 are employed in the wider economy, supplying essential parts and services to the sector, with a further 550,000 employed in the auto retail and service areas.

  4. Over one million vehicles were made in UK in 2009, 77% of which were for export markets around the world.

  5. Automotive is the UK’s No1 manufactured export sector. 2009 trade data shows UK auto exports were worth £21 billion.

  6. The automotive sector is worth over £10 billion to our economy - or 0.7 per cent of the UK’s GDP. Figures from the manufacturers’ organisation EEF show that manufacturing generates 13.5% of GDP, was worth £131 billion in 2009 and generated 53% of UK export earnings.

  7. The UK has two of the most globally renowned development facilities anywhere in the world: Millbrook and MIRA as well as a new flagship R&D centre for Intelligent Transport Systems.

  8. We are a global centre of excellence for engine design and development as well as a leading location for engine production with over two million units produced in 2009, 74% for export.

  9. Around a third of all Ford cars worldwide have engines made in the UK.

  10. Toyota’s plant in Burnaston, in Derby is the first in Europe to produce a fully hybrid vehicle. Its Deeside plant in North Wales is making the first hybrid engine to be produced outside Japan.

  11. The UK’s “Motorsport Valley” employs over 25,000 world-class engineers, while more than 15 universities offer motorsport engineering and management degrees.

  12. The Government is supporting the early market for ultra-low carbon cars by providing a consumer incentive of £5,000.

  13. BIS’ online newsroom contains the latest press notices, speeches, as well as video and images for download. It also features an up to date list of BIS press office contacts. See for more information.

Notes to Editors

Contact Information

Name BIS Press Office Job Title

Division COI Phone




Name Rebecca Murrell Job Title

Division Department for Business, Innovation and Skills Phone 020 7215 6403 Fax



Published 29 September 2010