Region’s automotive sector sees 10% hike in foreign investment

Automotive Industry

The Midlands’ automotive sector has seen a 10% increase in the number of foreign direct investments in its motor automotive industry, according to new figures.

Figures released by automotive inward investment body Drive Midlands ahead of the Automechanika trade show at the NEC, show the critically-important sector attracted 58 new FDIs during 2016/17.

The new projects, which involved investors from the US, India and China, helped to generate almost 3,000 new jobs across the Midlands.

The figures reaffirm that the automotive industry in the Midlands remains an attractive one for investors, despite the UK’s decision to quit the EU.

Part of that appeal is due to its various clusters in automotive research, engineering and manufacturing excellence.

The Midlands currently accounts for 50% of the UK’s automotive activity, including being home to seven high-volume car manufacturers, seven commercial vehicle producers and 16 of the top 20 automotive suppliers.

David Shepherd, Senior Business Development Manager (Automotive) at the West Midlands Growth Company, which oversees the Drive Midlands initiative, said: “The fact that the Midlands continues to attract foreign investors is proof of its resilience and ability to deliver a ‘business as usual’ perspective.

“As we wait for the Brexit situation to unfold, automotive businesses from OEMs right through to large manufacturers are pulling together to make sure this region remains a safe and attractive bet for investors.

“The pipeline continues and we’re hoping that our presence at Automechanika this week provides the perfect platform to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities faced, and ultimately secure more interest.”

Drive Midlands will be showcasing the region’s automotive excellence, together with a range of partners, at the Automechanika event, which runs until Thursday.

The event, the UK’s largest automotive trade show, will feature 800 aftermarket and supply chain exhibitors, and will showcase the latest products and automotive technology.