Writing for PoliticsHome, Richard Burden, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group, calls on the Government to continue to work with the UK automotive industry to establish a long-term framework for growth and ensure companies can access the finance required to deliver growth opportunities.
On Sunday, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone was won in a Red Bull, one of the eight F1 teams based here in the UK. And whilst I don't want to take anything away from Mark Webber's Australian pedigree, he too lives here in Britain.
The UK is also home to seven volume car manufacturers, six commercial vehicle manufacturers, 11 bus and coach manufacturers and more than 100 specialist vehicle manufacturers. The industry produces over one million cars every year and supports over 700,000 jobs.
Over the last year the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group (APMG) has brought together parliamentarians, ministers, officials, industry representatives and trade unions to discuss key issues facing the UK automotive industry.
Today we are publishing a report based on our discussions over the last year.
The report, Delivering opportunities: Automotive investment for growth, looks at both the challenges and opportunities facing the UK automotive industry including the strength of the supply chain; low carbon technology and consumer choices; access to finance and investment; and collaboration between motorsport and other industries.
We make four key recommendations to the government:
1. The government should establish a structured dialogue between the financial and automotive industries in order to enable businesses across automotive and manufacturing sectors to access finance.
2. The government should bring forward innovative support to allow smaller
supply chain firms to take on apprentices and increase efforts to improve science, technology, engineering and mathematics education in schools.
3. The government should bolster its offer of support for low carbon R&D and incentives for charging infrastructure, and include opportunities for low carbon vehicle purchasing in its review of procurement.
4. The government should support the motorsport industry to create a technology roadmap and collaborate with other industries including aerospace, automotive and defence.
The report will be formally launched in the House of Commons today and has
been submitted to government ministers, shadow ministers and the chairs of the Business, Science, Transport and Treasury Select Committees.
The UK automotive industry can claim many recent successes – not least over £5.6 billion of investment committed by automotive companies across the country over the last 18 months.
The industry has demonstrated that it is delivering on opportunities to advance UK ambitions as a leading manufacturing force – but neither industry nor government can be complacent. More needs to be done to build on these foundations and set a long-term framework for growth.
A copy of the report is available on the APMG website: http://motorappg.com/apmg-report-2012.