Press release

UK automotive sector is driving force for UK manufacturing

Government partnership with the automotive industry has created or protected 15,000 jobs and attracted over £1 billion of foreign investment.

The government’s partnership with the automotive industry, the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO), has created or protected 15,000 jobs in the auto sector 3 months ahead of its March 2016 target. Since the AIO was established in June 2013, the AIO has attracted over £1 billion of foreign investment into the UK auto sector and supported over 250 projects.

The AIO has created a network of leading industry professionals and government expertise to identify specific growth opportunities in the UK automotive supply chain. As a result, the amount of British-made components being used by car manufacturers in the UK has increased to 41% in 2015, from 36% in 2011.

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said:

Our diverse auto sector, which covers everything from car manufacturers to tractor spare parts, is one of the shining lights of our economy and we have been particularly successful at exporting high-value, high-technology vehicles all over the world.

Government can help suppliers and manufacturers engage directly with potential buyers and investors across the globe, but the job creation and growth we have seen in the auto sector is ultimately testament to the innovation of our firms and the skills of their workforce.

Specific investments the AIO helped achieve include:

  • a £30 million investment by Brose Group to extend its Coventry plant and create 300 jobs after winning a contract to supply electric window systems for the new Nissan Qashqai model (September 2015)
  • the £9 million investment by Lear Corporation in its Sunderland foam manufacturing facility for car seats which created 100 new jobs (September 2014)
  • £15 million investment by TRW in its Houghton-le-Spring plant to build next-generation power steering motors which created 149 new jobs and safeguarded a further 146 jobs (January 2013)

Notes to editors:

  1. The UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) works across government and industry to promote the UK automotive sector abroad, to bring investment into the country, as well as help UK-based companies grow their business by exporting. It focuses on driving foreign investment into the UK supply chain, research and development and motorsport sectors.

  2. The AIO was one of the first UKTI Investment Organisations. It developed an innovative approach that blended government expertise and networks alongside the same from the private sector. By bringing in senior industry figures such as Joe Greenwell (former Chair of Ford UK) and Lawrence Davies (former Head of Purchasing for GM UK), it has been able to work in tandem with OEMs across the UK. It identified key components currently imported and targeted overseas companies for UK investment or expansion.

  3. The AIO has created or protected 15,000 jobs in the auto sector. Before the AIO was established in June 2013, the sector was creating jobs at around half this rate.

  4. Joe Greenwell stood down as CEO of the AIO at the end of 2015. Deputy CEO Lawrence Davies is currently interim CEO.