Ford will launch more than 15 new vehicles in Europe within the next five years, with most of them being powered by British-built engines.

That was the pledge made by executive vice president of Ford Stephen Odell to the National Manufacturing Debate, held at Cranfield University.

He also said that engines built by Ford in the UK could potentially power one third of all Fords globally.

Speaking at the summit Odell issued a call to create better market conditions that would enable manufacturers to flourish.

To help face the challenges of the modern marketplace Ford will invest in new technologies to drive product appeal and seek out better-qualified engineers for its operations.

Odell spoke about the skills deficit in the UK and emphasised the importance of a workforce with the right skills and qualifications in the industry. He called on the motor trade to “do more in the interests of schoolchildren” to help encourage more careers in engineering and science.

Despite tough economic conditions Odell concluded his speech by saying he was confident that European and UK manufacturing could survive under the right business conditions. 

Odell continued: “We expect Europe’s volume car makers, preferably encouraged and aided by Brussels, to follow the hugely successful American example and do what everybody knows needs to be done: to restructure, to cut excess manufacturing capacity and to reinvigorate their product range. And to develop industry-leading technology for the world.”