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Government in overseas investment push

The UK car industry has been doing extremely well over the last few years. At a time when other industries in the UK are stagnant or declining, the motor industry in the UK has gone from strength to strength, pushing up production figures and selling more cars than ever before.

The UK car industry has been doing extremely well over the last few years. At a time when other industries in the UK are stagnant or declining, the motor industry in the UK has gone from strength to strength, pushing up production figures and selling more cars than ever before. Most of these cars are sold overseas and this export effort has greatly improved Britain's balance of payments situation. The performance of the UK car industry is even more impressive when you consider the results from other car manufacturers around Europe. Throughout the EU, car sales are declining and have been over the entirety of the same period that the UK industry has seen growth.

 

Now the government has decided to back further industry growth with the Automotive Investment Organisation. The Automotive Investment Organisation will be tasked to lead a campaign to attract overseas investment in the UK car industry and has been handed a budget of £3million to achieve this over the next two years. The organisation will be led by Joe Greenwell, a recently retired Ford executive with over 40 years' experience in the motor industry. The investment drive will be led by UK Trade and Investment and receive strategic input from the Automotive Council, a joint government and industry body.

 

In a launch announcement, Mr Greenwell said: "I understand the challenges of maintaining the levels of success we've seen recently in the auto sector". The initiative has been launched by business secretary, Vince Cable, who added: "On average only a third of the parts that go into cars manufactured here are sourced from the UK. We know that global manufacturers in the UK want to buy more from the UK. Joe Greenwell will help to build on the success of the unprecedented investment we have seen in the UK automotive sector and encourage a more extensive supply chain."

 

The government is using the car industry as an example to other areas of British manufacturing, emphasising the investment car companies have been making in the industry and urging others to follow suit. It also pointed out a report by the Automotive Council that there is £3billion of new business available to UK companies and overseas companies should they wish to set up or expand businesses in the UK to supply the car industry. With the rest of the UK economy flat-lining it will be interesting to see of this new initiative can help lead the way to growth.

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