Government supports Ford plans for greener engines
The Government has said that it will back the programme through a £360 million Government loan guarantee under its Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP).
Ford says that such support from the UK Government is a major step in seeking loan approval for its £450 million application to the European Investment Bank (EIB), which will allow the carmaker to proceed with its UK investment strategy.
Ford of Britain chairman, Joe Greenwell, said: 'Ford welcomes this positive support from the Government. It greatly assists in delivering Ford's commitment to invest £1.5 billion in new, affordable, volume-produced low CO2 technologies.
'Our customers will benefit from this extensive investment and so too will the 100,000 people in the UK whose jobs are directly or indirectly dependent on Ford. The loan also encourages the growth of high-technology, CO2-reducing research and development in the country.
'But perhaps most importantly the overall environment will benefit thanks to the mass-deployment, volume-produced emission-reducing technologies from Ford.
'The Government's support of Ford's EIB loan application demonstrates its commitment to addressing the strategic needs of the UK automotive industry when it comes to supporting affordable CO2 reducing technologies,' he added.
Ford's plans cover the research, development and manufacture of low CO2 engines for both cars and commercial vehicles across four sites in the UK; Dagenham, Southampton and Bridgend in south Wales as well as its research and development centre at Dunton in Essex. According to the Government, the plans will safeguard around 2,800 jobs in the UK.
Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, said: 'Ford is a major investor in research and development in the UK. Its proposals represent further significant investment in the UK.
'The Government stands ready and willing to support these innovative R&D projects backed by a highly skilled workforce. As part of the automotive industry, Ford has an important role to play in the UK's aim to be one of the leading manufacturers of low-carbon vehicles.'