By Claire West

Seventy companies from the automotive sector across the world are expected to be represented at an event tonight hosted by the Business Minister Mark Prisk ahead of the Paris Motor Show.

Mark Prisk will be asking an international line up of manufacturers and suppliers attending the Reception at the British Embassy to take a fresh look at what the UK can offer potential investors in terms of engineering expertise, skilled workforce, innovation and cutting edge design as the UK aims to take the lead in low carbon automotive technologies.

Eleven of the world’s volume vehicle manufacturers have a base in the UK, supported by 19 of the world’s top 20 suppliers with particular strengths in premium vehicles and advanced powertrain, from low carbon internal combustion engines to innovative electric drive trains.

With the first European mass market hybrid vehicle being built in the UK, the first hybrid engine built outside of Japan, the first mass market pure electric car and a major electric battery plant, the UK can demonstrate the wide range of new, low carbon and related business opportunities available to potential investors in the UK automotive industry.

Mark Prisk said:

“I’m delighted that such a large number of prestigious international companies are attending this event. Many automotive companies have already found that the UK can offer a sound business investment opportunity. It’s a message that the Automotive Council and the Government as a full partner in the Council wants to spread further.

“The Government is committed to creating the right business conditions for success and industry wants to source more from the UK. We are already seeing vibrant new clusters emerging from the transition to a low carbon economy and we want to encourage even greater growth as the market demand for low and ultra low carbon vehicles takes hold.”

The Business Minister will be accompanied to the event and the Paris Motor Show by the Co-Chairman of the Automotive Council, Richard Parry-Jones. They will be meeting top executives from a number of UK and global manufacturers and suppliers.

Professor Richard Parry-Jones said:

"We are in Paris to meet the key decision makers in the global automotive industry. Our message is that the UK automotive sector has been transformed over the last decade and that the UK Government is strategically committed.

“The UK is a uniquely attractive country in which to invest, especially in innovative low carbon transport R&D. We have a very competitive, strong and diverse vehicle industry and companies from around the world are achieving their goals by taking full advantage of the UK's world class universities, innovative companies and strong skill base.

“For companies already investing in the UK, there are significant opportunities to increase local sourcing. The Automotive Council UK is working to help them realise these opportunities fast."