News article

UK accelerates innovation into greener auto industry

Billions of pounds injected to support suppliers and bright ideas in automotive innovation.

The British government is backing the UK’s automotive industry to lead the way in new low carbon and energy efficient technology, announcing a boost to its biggest innovation fund of all time.

The £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre (APC) fund, announced in 2014, is the single largest investment ever made by the UK into reducing carbon emission in the automotive industry and will be charged-up with a new £70 million injection to support low carbon propulsion research and development projects that can deliver significant reductions in harmful vehicle emissions, particularly CO2.

The joint funds are the result of a partnership between government and the automotive industry intended to cement the UK’s position as a leading global centre for low carbon innovation and manufacturing.

Speaking ahead of Auto Expo in New Delhi, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the UK’s Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO), Lawrence Davies OBE, said the two funds have already had great success, attracting attention from many international companies, including India-based automotive companies, looking to partner and expand into the UK.

He added:

Our fast-growing and diverse automotive industry has been especially successful at exporting high-value, high-technology vehicles all over the world, and our focus on next-generation innovation will ensure we can continue this progress.

But we know we can’t do it alone which is why we are calling on all leading innovators across India and beyond, to join us to uncover the next big thing in low carbon technology.

In fact, Jaguar Land Rover was recently awarded a £13.1 million grant to research advanced combustion and leading edge boosting systems, making this Indian-owned company the recipient of one of the fund’s biggest awards.

The Advanced Propulsion Centre fund demonstrates the UK’s steadfast commitment to back bright ideas and get those ideas out of the laboratory and into cars, said Mr Davies.

The UK is the biggest manufacturer of electric vehicles in Europe. In fact, roughly one in four electric cars driven in Europe are made in the UK. The UK’s automotive sector is a true hive of innovation, expertise, technology, brands and opportunity. We have a desire to make more so we can sell more, and we’re inviting Indian companies to join us on the journey.

Further information:

UKTI Stand at Auto Expo

The UKTI stand is located at UK Pavilion in Hall 18, Stand 29, Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, February 4-7.

For more information on the Advanced Propulsion Centre fund or understanding how to partner or establish a business in the UK, contact Sandip Chaudhuri at UKTI.

Interested parties can also visit and meet UKTI Investment Advisors at Auto Expo who can help put them on the path to international growth.

More information about the UKTI event at the Auto Expo or for tickets, please visit here.

UKTI Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO)

The 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, R&D and motorsport sectors.

The AIO reached its three-year goal of creating or protecting 15,000 jobs in the auto sector six 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.

A blend of private and public sector expertise, the AIO reports directly to the UK Automotive Council – the flagship UK body for government-industry cooperation.

Find out why the UK is the most attractive overseas business destination.

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About Lawrence Davies, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO)

Lawrence Davies has had a 35 year career in the automotive industry. He started at General Motors (GM) in the UK within purchasing and supply chain after which he spent 4 years at Opel in Germany and spells in France and the USA. He became Director of GM UK Purchasing and Supply Chain in 2006. In 2013 Lawrence joined UK Trade & Investment’s Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) as Deputy CEO and plays a lead role in the AIO’s programme of engagement with automotive companies worldwide to promote the UK. He was made a fellow of the Institute of Purchasing in 2015. He is currently acting-CEO.

UK regains position as world leader in automotive industry

  • the UK is a leading centre for the automotive industry. In 2015 nearly 1.6 million vehicles rolled off the production line (the highest in a decade), and in turnover of the sector likely to exceed a record £68 billion, with the average value of UK-made cars doubling since 2009. The UK is the third largest car producer in Europe.

  • part of the success of the industry is due to the quality of the products but part is also due to business efficiency. The UK automotive sector is now clearly the most productive in Europe, 12.8% ahead of closest rival Germany, and nearly double the productivity achieved in France.

  • the UK is a growing force in automotive R&D, which is paving the way for further production growth over the next 10 years. Alongside 4 of the top 6 universities in the world, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford and Nissan all have R&D centres in the UK. The UK automotive industry is leading in the development of low carbon vehicle technologies.

  • the UK is also the leading manufacturer of electric vehicles in Europe (thanks to the Nissan factory in Sunderland), and there is a growing ecosystem in the North East for batteries and associated technology. Crewe in the North West is now the global Centre of Excellence for 12 cylinder engines in the VW Group. This reflects the leading role the UK plays in engine development, thanks to the £1 billion, 10 year investment in low carbon propulsion via the Advanced Propulsion Centre.

  • Supply Chain - Rapid expansion of the UK automotive sector has driven an unprecedented demand for components. In the two years to 2015 sales from UK suppliers to UK OEMs grew by £1 billion, with 19% growth in 2014 alone. UK vehicle manufacturers have identified an additional £4 billion of opportunity for Tier 1 component production and a further £2 billion worth of supply chain opportunities for Tier 2 suppliers and below.

  • the UK leads Europe in intelligent mobility and is well-placed to lead the world. The first multiple trials on public roads began in February 2015 and the Centre for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (C-CAV) was launched to support companies to commercialise intelligent solutions. The launch of the UK’s world-leading code of practice now means the UK is one of the most supportive and open countries for developing and testing intelligent vehicles.

  • Motorsport - The UK is the global leader in motorsport, the most R&D intensive part of automotive. 7/10 of the current F1 teams are based in the UK, alongside over 4,500 companies involved in the motorsport sector. This offers unrivalled access to cutting-edge expertise; expanding technology flow into the mainstream automotive sector.

  • Exports – With growing demand for UK automotive products around the world, the UK is an ideal location to export from with direct access to the EU and over 100 global markets. In 2015 a record number of cars (77.3% of total production) were exported, with over 1.2m units leaving the UK, up 2.7% on 2014. EU demand continued to grow, up by 11.3%.

For more information or interviews with Lawrence Davies OBE or a UKTI Investment Advisor, please contact:

For media queries, please contact:

Stuart Adam, Head,
Press and Communications
British High Commission, Chanakyapuri
New Delhi 110021
Tel: 44192100; Fax: 24192411

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