Ron Dennis calls for UK to choose industrial engineering over finance
22 July 2010

The UK needs to focus on “real” engineering such as the automotive industry, rather than the financial sector, in order to beat the recession, according to former McLaren F1 team boss Ron Dennis.

Dennis, Executive Chairman, McLaren Group and McLaren Automotive, was speaking at an automotive industry reception at the Houses of Parliament.

Read the full speech transcript

He believes that boosting the UK’s manufacturing output is the best way to secure long-term sustainable growth for the economy. “If we do not build our industrial market [share], Britain will simply be unable to generate the growth and wealth it needs to ensure a return to prosperity for our people,” said Dennis.

Dennis said that since the early 1990s the UK has focused too much on financial services, neglected manufacturing and has now fallen behind its competitors.

Read Steve Cropley's blog on Dennis's speech

He cited the example of Japan where the government has aggressively invested in research and development – a step that has seen Toyota top the car manufacturers' global R&D league table with an annual investment of £6.4 billion.

Dennis called for a four-point plan to boost British industry revolving around education, investment in R&D, greater participation between companies and government, and "daring to be different".

Read the road test of the groundbreaking McLaren F1

He added: “It is up to all of us, as employers, as colleagues, as parents and as a government, to reignite in young people a sense of passion in studying science, technology, engineering and maths, in order to open up more employment opportunities in those areas.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

He suggested that science graduates be reimbursed part of their student loans after they have worked in a British-based science or engineering role for three years.

This would be paid for by tax concessions against profits for the companies employing the students.

McLaren Automotive was formed in 1989 and is responsible for the McLaren F1 and the new MP4-12C.

Andrew Papworth

See all the latest McLaren reviews, news and video

Join the debate


22 July 2010

Toyota have an annual R&D spend of £6.4, are you sure??

And the new McLaren MP4-12C was designed by Gordon, are you sure??

22 July 2010

I didn't realise Gordon Murray designed the MP4-12C?

22 July 2010

The Tony Blair years we seen many electronics companies who had located factories in the UK moving out. Labour did nothing; stood back and watched as our manufacturing base was decimated. And this is from a party who is supposed to represent ordinary workers? Workers who had jobs in those factories!

Ron is quite right that we must move back to concentrating on manufacturing. We have a trade deficit and you'd believe from what Labour told us that you couldn't have anything else in a modern western country. Yet Germany has a trade surplus with the rest of the world.

I fully support Ron's idea of help students clear their debts. It's one of the reasons why less students are going on to further research after their degrees. Quite simply they've built up so much debt that they can't continue their studies. We're the ones who are losing out! I would like to see that if you move on to do a PhD and you are successful that your degree debts are paid off. Or at least you're given a bonus which would make a huge dent in them!

22 July 2010

well said, Mr Dennis, who of course is correct.

banker = parasite

engineer = value-adding wealth creator.

unfortunately for Britain it's too late though, much too late, in fact about 300+ years too late, since the money changers set up in Lombard Street, London, in return for financing Prince William of Orange's taking of the English throne and in return his granting of a charter to the private, new bank of England. since then, England and then Britain and its ordinary peoples have been vassals and chattels of the bankers in the City of London.

the nation's debt stands officially at around £800bn, but semi-officially reports have begun to 'mysteriously' leak out of the UK public debt being actually £4 trillion. private debt in UK is of the order of £1.5 trillion, mainly mortgage debt.

so the bankers have won. the debt principal can never be paid back. all taxes of the people of UK will eventually go to merely servicing, the interest payment, of the debt, within 20 years or so. our children and grand-children will become mere tax-slaves, like medieval serfs, working merely to serve their master, with no ability to accrue independent wealth, given enough food and board to sustain them to be able to work until they die - pensions, private and public, will vanish.

the British still have a choice: accept your neo-serfdom or refute the debt, like Iceland - almost entirely unreported in the MSM did - and start again, with your own money issuance, as existed in England for several hundred years - see tally sticks - before the establishment of a fractional reserve central bank by the money changers in the City of London in the late 1690s. doing the latter will take guts. so, it's debt serfdom for forelock-tugging, dumbed-down inhabitants of Blighty.

fair play to you Ron, but you're preaching to the wrong country. too many have too many fingers in the pie to upset the financiers' golden apple cart. UK is a banker's fiefdom and will probably ever be thus.

22 July 2010

Dont really like Dennis, but he is correct... Its a shame that nuthing is neither engineered nor manufactured here at the some point people around the world were buying anything with a 'Made in England' badge but now.......nuthing all we make is pet insurance policies. As an engineer who works in the UK, i feel undervalued..overworked and looking for a job overseas at the moment...... im afraid its a bit too late for what Dennis mentioned, i think it will take guts and alot of time and investment from the government to change this, and it will take decades. moreover the whole country need a change of attitude towards scientist and engineers, they need to be more respected like in Germany or Japan not dismissed by a society who glorifies talentless celebrities.

22 July 2010

Well said including..." UK is a banker's fiefdom and will probably ever be thus."

And so is this western (+east...china/Japan/Taiwan/Singapore/India) fiefdom ever be thus. And the only places we can even read about such truths of our actual plights is on far corners- completely off the beaten path, of the net such as here.

The last bits of journalism pouring out before quality assurance puts such offense to rest. j

22 July 2010

[quote jl4069]

Well said including..." UK is a banker's fiefdom and will probably ever be thus."

And so is this western (+east...china/Japan/Taiwan/Singapore/India) fiefdom ever be thus. And the only places we can even read about such truths of our actual plights is on far corners- completely off the beaten path, of the net such as here.

The last bits of journalism pouring out before quality assurance puts such offense to rest. j


you'll allmost certainly know this quote:

'Permit me to issue and control the money of the nation and I care not who makes its laws' - mayer amschel rothschild

and those who saw what was coming and warned against:

The central bank is an institution of the most deadly hostility existing against the Principles and form of our Constitution. I am an Enemy to all banks discounting bills or notes for anything but Coin. If the American People allow private banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the People of all their Property until their Children will wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered - Thomas Jefferson 3rd president of the United States.

26 July 2010

Well, the UK still has the 5th biggest export economy in the World. The 6th if you strip out financial services.

I work in film special effects. We make things for films shot all over the World. There are thousands of companies exporting from the UK in many sectors.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week