Figures released today by automotive inward investment body Drive Midlands show that the region’s automotive sector secured 58 new foreign direct investments during 2016/17, a 10% increase on the previous year. These new projects, which involved investors from the US, India and China, helped to generate almost 3,000 new jobs across the Midlands.
The announcement comes ahead of Invest Black Country’s presence at the UK’s largest automotive trade show Automechanika this week with Drive Midlands, where it will work alongside leading organisations and partners to build relationships and promote the region’s offer to potential investors. This year’s event will feature 800 aftermarket and supply chain exhibitors, set to showcase the latest products and automotive technology.
These latest FDI results reaffirm that the automotive industry in the Midlands remains open for business following the UK’s decision to leave the EU, continuing to attract international investment and driving job creation. In 2017, the Midlands was recognised alongside countries including Poland and Turkey as a top global destination for automotive foreign direct investment by FDI Intelligence – owing to its clusters of 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, on stand 6D70 at Automechanika at the NEC Birmingham on 6-8 June 2017.