The business secretary, Vince Cable has announced a £1billion commitment to research and development in the UK
12 July 2013

The government has announced a £1billion commitment to future automotive technologies, to fund a centre designed to research, develop and commercialise advanced vehicle technology.

Speaking ahead of the Goodwood Festival of Speed this morning, the business secretary Vince Cable said the government and the automotive industry would each invest £500m.

It is expected additional manufacturer activity will attract more than 7600 apprentices and 1700 graduates across the country over the next five years.

The scheme is backed by 27 companies, including Bentley, BMW, Ford, Jaguar Land Rover, Lotus, Morgan, Nissan and Ricardo.

Cable said the announcement forms a framework for long-term thinking that will fuel the renaissance in the UK automotive industry. “It will solve an engineering skills deficit, which will only get more acute as the economy grows out of crisis”, he said.

Former Ford development boss, Richard Parry-Jones, who is part of the project said, “It will aim to bridge the 'Valley of Death' in the UK. We’re very good at inventing, but not so good at transforming those inventions into commercial value. It will take laboratory work to small-scale production. For every £1m spent to invent, it costs £10m to bring small-scale production.”

Parry-Jones said “soft targets” had already been identified in advanced internal combustion engines, energy storage and electrification.

Former Ford boss, Joe Greenwell said the plan would “drive further investment into the supply chain”. The Automotive council said £3bn of contracts could be sourced locally.

The announcement forms part of the government's Driving Success strategy promoting growth and sustainability in the UK automotive industry.  

Investment in the UK has totalled more than £6bn over the last two years, resulting in the production of more than 1.58m vehicles. Four out of five vehicles are exported to overseas to more than 100 countries.

Cable said that the existing framework had already inspired confidence in UK automotive. Negotiations on the future of car production at Ellesmere Port have been aided by such a plan. The commitment to APC will grow confidence further.

The Driving Success strategy considers four themes: how vehicles will be powered in the future, how the government and industry can grow the supply chain, to develop skills in the sector and how to maintain the UK's advantage in the sector.

Join the debate


12 July 2013

Someone there needs to get the facts right when they write the headline.

However regardless of that, this must be good news for the British economy. We've had a problem with making commercial use of the many British inventions over the years, too often letting foreign rivals end up exploiting what were originally British inventions. I guess its down to "short-term-ism" by the financial institutions, we have to get more banks lending money long-term at reasonable rates rather than only seeing the potential for quick profits. Those bankers have a lot to answer for in reality.

Enjoying a Fabia VRs - affordable performance

12 July 2013

No doubt this £1 billion of taxpayer money will show up in JLR's illusory profits and then be reptriated to India.


12 July 2013

No doubt this £1 billion of

2 hours 2 min ago

No doubt this £1 billion of taxpayer money will show up in JLR's illusory profits and then be reptriated to India.

now,thats a great  finding. 



Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out