By Francesca James

The Government has set up a unique opportunity so global car manufacturers can meet UK companies to identify further opportunities to invest in this country and localise supply chains.

A report published in the summer by the Automotive Council found automotive manufacturers already spend £8.4 billion with UK suppliers and actively wish to increase local purchasing. An immediate opportunity was identified to increase local purchasing by £3 billion per annum.

Today’s event at Chelsea Football Club in London has been organised by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to inform global companies of the benefits of investing in the UK. It will also explain how Government is committed to growth through its industrial strategy, and the work of the joint Government and industry Automotive Council.

Opportunities for automotive supply chain companies to invest in the UK will be highlighted, including the opportunity to be part of a successful and growing UK automotive manufacturing economy. The UK made 1.4 million cars in 2011 and is forecast to make 2 million cars by 2015.

Business Minister Michael Fallon said:

“We need to do all we can to make sure the UK supply chain takes better advantage of business opportunities in the automotive sector, and showing global businesses what the UK has to offer will help make this happen.

“This will not only secure valuable business deals for UK firms, but further strengthen the success of the UK automotive sector.”

Co-Chair of the Automotive Council, Richard Parry-Jones, said:

“Our major manufacturers have already repatriated hundreds of millions of pounds worth of business to the UK. But there is the potential to win back so much more.

“With global vehicle makers investing millions in R&D and manufacturing projects in the UK, there is a real opportunity for more UK suppliers to become global players and to persuade new suppliers to base themselves here.

“Government and industry working through the Automotive Council are determined to help them grasp these opportunities in order to strengthen the UK supply base and secure growth and high value manufacturing jobs.”

UK Trade & Investment chief executive Nick Baird said:

“The resurgence of our car industry is a major British success story. Backed by substantial inward investment, the sector now employs over 700,000 people and accounts for nine per cent of our exports.

“Britain strongly welcomes inward investment which is important to enable our manufacturers to produce more components for the UK automotive supply chain.