Government appoints team to review state of UK car industry

The UK Government has launched a major investigation into how the country̵7;s automotive industry can take on low-cost competitors at the same time as taking advantage of the move to low-carbon transport.

The New Automotive Innovation and Growth Team will draw together industry cexperts led by Richard Parry-Jones, former group vice-president and CTO with Ford and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. They will build on the work of the original AIGT whose 2002 report prompted initiatives such as the national Supply Chain Groups Programme, the Low-Carbon Vehicle Partnership and the Automotive Academy.

The initiative is backed by the Department for Business Enterprise & Regulatory Reform (BERR). Business minister Shriti Vadera believes that British manufacturers can remain competitive if they build on their existing strengths.

̶0;The UK̵7;s car industry is one of the most successful in the world, with a number of manufactures currently enjoying record levels of production at their UK plants,̶1; said Vadera. ̶0;But the industry, like many others, is facing a number of challenges as it moves into the next decade, particularly in terms of reducing emissions and tackling a continued rise in competition from low-cost countries such as China, India and Eastern Europe.̶1;

As well as identifying key performance indicators for industry, the NAIGT will investigate the barriers and challenges posed by existing legislation to ensure the UK has a regulatory framework that encourages competitiveness. It will be responsible for assessing the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities that exist throughout the automotive industry and identify market trends.

A final report with recommendations that government should take into account when setting policy will be complemented by an action plan for industry.

Image: British manufacturers can remain competitive if they build on their existing strengths

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