Press release

Joe Greenwell to lead Automotive Investment Organisation

Vince Cable announces that he is setting up the Automotive Investment Organisation to be led by Joe Greenwell, the former Chairman of Ford.

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


Over the last two years, there has been significant investment from global automotive manufacturers in the UK. To build on this success, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today that he is setting up the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) which will be led by Joe Greenwell, the former Chairman of Ford.

Funded with up to £3 million over the next two years, the AIO will spearhead the campaign to attract inward investment to the UK. Continuing to attract investment from overseas into the UK is one of the main themes of the automotive industrial strategy to be published shortly.

The automotive sector is one of 11 key areas that the government is working collaboratively with industry on a long-term plan to deliver economic growth and prosperity.

The Automotive Investment Organisation will be led by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), and will take strategic direction from the Automotive Council, to develop a strategy to repatriate the supply chain and build on the opportunities identified in the UK.

A report published by the Council in 2012 found that there was an additional £3 billion of new business that could be won by UK suppliers and overseas companies looking to set up or expand manufacturing facilities in the UK.

Business Secretary and co-Chair of the Automotive Council Vince Cable said:

On average only a third of the parts that go into cars manufactured here are sourced from the UK. We know that global manufacturers in the UK want to buy more from the UK.

As the former chair of a global automotive company, Joe Greenwell brings all the experience that the Automotive Investment Organisation needs. He will help to build on the success of the unprecedented investment we have seen in the UK automotive sector and encourage a more extensive supply chain.

The new CEO of the Automotive Investment Organisation Joe Greenwell said:

I have worked in the automotive industry for many years so I understand the challenges of maintaining the levels of success we’ve seen recently in the auto sector.

As head of the Automotive Investment Organisation, my job will be to promote why the UK is a GREAT supply chain investment opportunity, increase R&D investment and strengthen our relationships overseas with global manufacturers.

Business Minister Michael Fallon and the Automotive Council co-chair Professor Richard Parry-Jones will speak at a UKTI organised event next month for global automotive supply chain companies to outline the benefits of investing in the UK. Vehicle manufacturers will also meet suppliers to discuss business opportunities.

Michael Fallon will announce Joe Greenwell’s appointment at today’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) International Automotive Summit. He will be one of the keynote speakers at the event that will be attended by more than 200 senior auto industry delegates.

Notes for editors

1.The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:

  • to create the most competitive tax system in the G20
  • to make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
  • to encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
  • to create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.

Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.

2.UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the government department that helps UK-based companies succeed in the global economy. We also help overseas companies bring their high quality investment to the UK’s economy – acknowledged as Europe’s best place from which to succeed in global business. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through its extensive network of specialists in the UK, and in British embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world. We provide companies with the tools they require to be competitive on the world stage. For more information on UKTI, visit or visit the online newsroom at

3.The GREAT Britain initiative is an international campaign to showcase the very best of what Britain has to offer to encourage the world to visit, study and do business with the UK.

4.The joint industry/government Automotive Council was set up in 2009 as part of the government’s response to recommendations made in the industry-led report from the New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team (NAIGT). It is co-chaired by the Business Secretary Vince Cable and Professor Richard Parry-Jones. Its main aims are to enhance the attractiveness of the UK as a location for global automotive investment, promote UK-based manufacturers and technologies, strengthen the supply chain and position the UK as a leading global player in developing, manufacturing and using ultra-low carbon technologies. More information on the Automotive Council can be found at:

5.The Automotive Council report Growing the UK automotive supply chain – the road forward 2012 update can be found at:

Key facts and figures:

  • The automotive sector has been a beacon of success in UK manufacturing. Over the last two years the industry has invested over £6 billion in the UK.
  • In 2012 we produced over 1.5 million vehicles - up 8% over 2011. Over 80% of these were exported to 100 countries worldwide.
  • The UK produces even more engines than it does vehicles – 2.5 million in 2012. A third of all Ford engines worldwide are produced in the UK.
  • The UK automotive sector is particularly diverse. As well as cars and engines the industry produces trucks, vans, buses, motorbikes, construction equipment and race cars. Eight of the 11 Formula 1 teams are based in the UK.
Published 13 June 2013