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Motor Vehicles: Manufacturing Industries

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 24th March 2020.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent meetings he has had with representatives of (a) the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders and (b) Nissan to discuss the health of the UK automotive industry.

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Holding answer received on 23 March 2020

Ministers in the Department have been regularly engaging with with key industry bodies, to understand how we can support the continued resilience and competitiveness of UK manufacturing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisations include the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and Nissan, which has been a critical part of the UK’s automotive industry and the North East’s manufacturing landscape for the past 30 years.

In order to support UK business and industry during the Covid-19 outbreak, the Chancellor has announced an unprecedented package including government-backed and guaranteed loans. We have made an initial £330 billion of guarantees available, alongside the Coronavirus Job Retention and VAT deferral schemes.

The Government also has a long-standing programme of support to maintain the competitiveness of the UK automotive sector. Through our landmark Automotive Sector Deal, we have secured joint investment and long-term commitments to develop world-leading battery technologies, positioning the UK as the location of choice for the development and deployment of connected and autonomous vehicle technologies.

The Government, alongside industry, have jointly committed almost £1.5 billion through the Advanced Propulsion Centre and Faraday Battery Challenge to research, develop, and commercialise low carbon automotive innovations. In October last year, we announced up to £1 billion of new money to support research and development, including within supply chains, to support electric vehicle manufacture.

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