By Daniel Hunter

Over the last two years, there has been significant investment from global automotive manufacturers in the UK. To build on this success, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced that he is setting up the Automotive Investment Organisation (AIO) which will be led by Joe Greenwell, the former Chairman of Ford.

Funded with up to £3 million over the next two years, the AIO will spearhead the campaign to attract inward investment to the UK. Continuing to attract investment from overseas into the UK is one of the main themes of the automotive industrial strategy to be published shortly.

The automotive sector is one of 11 key areas that the government is working collaboratively with industry on a long-term plan to deliver economic growth and prosperity.

The Automotive Investment Organisation will be led by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), and will take strategic direction from the Automotive Council, to develop a strategy to repatriate the supply chain and build on the opportunities identified in the UK.

A report published by the Council in 2012 found that there was an additional £3 billion of new business that could be won by UK suppliers and overseas companies looking to set up or expand manufacturing facilities in the UK.

Business Secretary and co-Chair of the Automotive Council Vince Cable said: “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.

“As the former chair of a global automotive company, Joe Greenwell brings all the experience that the Automotive Investment Organisation needs. He 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 new CEO of the Automotive Investment Organisation Joe Greenwell said: “I have worked in the automotive industry for many years so I understand the challenges of maintaining the levels of success we’ve seen recently in the auto sector.

“As head of the Automotive Investment Organisation, my job will be to promote why the UK is a GREAT supply chain investment opportunity, increase R&D investment and strengthen our relationships overseas with global manufacturers.”

Business Minister Michael Fallon and the Automotive Council co-chair Professor Richard Parry-Jones will speak at a UKTI organised event next month for global automotive supply chain companies to outline the benefits of investing in the UK. Vehicle manufacturers will also meet suppliers to discuss business opportunities.

Michael Fallon will announce Joe Greenwell’s appointment at today’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) International Automotive Summit. He will be one of the keynote speakers at the event that will be attended by more than 200 senior auto industry delegates.

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