A landmark deal between Government and the automotive sector has been announced by the Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.
The deal aims to build on the strengths of the UK automotive sector and further develop the strong collaborative partnership established between Government and industry.
It sets out a joint strategic vision for how both sides can continue to work together and is the first step towards establishing the UK’s leadership in meeting the Future of Mobility and Clean Growth Grand Challenges.
The deal secures joint investment and long-term commitments between Government and industry in areas including the design and development of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV), the research and development of battery technology and accelerating the manufacture of ultra-low and zero emission vehicles.
As part of this, the Government has announced £26.4 million of investment, match-funded by industry to total £52.8m, to help develop the next generation of driverless and low-carbon vehicles, with flagship projects led by Ford, GKN and Jaguar Land Rover.
Announcing the deal, Clark said: “For decades, the UK’s automotive industry has powered our economy forward. Today, automotive firms from around the world choose to set up shop here, citing our history of excellence, skilled workforce and world-leading supply chains.
“In the next 10 years, the sector will see more change than in the previous hundred. From the engines that power our cars, to the way we control them and our attitudes to owning them, technology is changing what the industry looks like and where money can be made.
“The automotive sector will shape our response to the Grand Challenges articulated in our Industrial Strategy, such as Clean Growth and the Future of Mobility – transformations which will forever change how people live, work and travel.
“As ever, partnership will be pivotal. As a result of the sector deal, both government and industry will invest about a quarter of a billion pounds to develop and manufacture electric vehicles, create a world-leading testing environment for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles and invest in a new industry-led programme to raise the competiveness of UK suppliers to match the best in Europe.
“As we open the automotive sector’s next chapter, we will continue to work with industry to make sure the technologies of tomorrow are developed, tested and manufactured right here in the UK.”
Nigel Stein, industry chairman of the Automotive Council said: “The long-term partnership developed between Government and industry has played a key role in the automotive sector’s success. It has helped ensure that emerging technologies are developed in the UK and given companies the confidence to invest.
“The Government’s Industrial Strategy is a welcome renewed commitment to this partnership, helping to support the sector as we move into the third decade of this century and beyond.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, added: “We welcome today’s automotive sector deal which will help this vital UK industry meet some of the many global challenges it faces.
“The deal strengthens our long-standing partnership with Government, with a boost to supply chain competitiveness and investment, matched by industry, to keep the UK at the forefront of electric, connected and autonomous vehicles.
“In its implementation, the deal must help the industry build on our success and seize the opportunities presented by such technological innovations. Given current uncertainties, it must also be complemented by ongoing efforts to maintain the right conditions for growth.”