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Turning electric dreams into motoring reality

tim lawrence | the times | 8 july 2017 

Letter to the editor

Sir, the reduction in investment in the UK automotive sector in the first half of 2017 may simply be a natural slowdown (“Industry is near Brexit tipping point, EFF warns”, July 4) . After five years of significant spending, with JLR, Nissan, Aston Martin, Geely and others all making major investments in new plants, a pause is not surprising. What really matters is future investment and how well the sector prepares for the end of the combustion engine.

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The UK car industry produced 2.5 million conventional engines in 2016 but demand will decline steadily over the next ten years, especially for diesel. That means the UK government should consider taking action to support the drive for investment in new electric vehicle technologies. BMW’s decision on where to locate its new electric Mini plant will be a much better indicator of the UK car industry’s long-term health than this year’s investment figures.

Tim Lawrence is global head of manufacturing at PA Consulting Group

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