UK government underwrites £360m of £450m EIB loan towards R&D of low emission engines

Ford has been given a £360 million loan guarantee from the government towards R&D of its new range of Ecoboost and low emission engines.

The government will underwrite £360m of a £450m European Investment Bank loan as part of Ford’s £1.5 billion investment in four UK engineering and manufacturing facilities over the next five years.

The deal with the government was signed at its Dunton technical centre yesterday.

Ford of Britain chairman, Joe Greenwell, said the investment "will help to unlock up to £1.5 million in low-carbon and environmentally friendly engine and vehicle technology investment". Buisness minister Mark Prisk said "This backing from the government will help ensure the long term success of manufacturing in the UK.” The loan will contribute to projects including the development of the 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine, which promises an improvement of up to 20 per cent in fuel economy and CO2, emissions. It is to feature in the next Focus and C-Max.

The government’s loan guarantee, originally pledged by Labour, had appeared to be under threat when the new coalition government came into power in May.

James Walker

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