Ford is aiming to invest up to £1.5 billion in new, affordable, volume-produced low CO2 technologies at its four UK facilities over the next five years after securing a £360 million Government loan guarantee.
Secretary of State for Business, Peter Mandelson, announced the £360 million backing of Ford’s £450 million application to the European Investment Bank (EIB) at the company’s Ford Dagenham site. Support from UK government is a major step in seeking loan approval from the EIB which will allow Ford to proceed with its UK investment strategy.
Ford Dagenham is one of four UK sites covering research, development and manufacture of low-CO2 technology for both cars and commercial vehicles.
Ford’s research and development centre in Dunton, Essex, is the country’s largest automotive engineering facility, and Ford products are assembled in Dagenham, Southampton and Bridgend.
Dagenham’s diesel engines, emitting as little as 98g/km CO2, feature in Ford’s Fiesta and Focus ECOnetic models. Fuel-saving ECOnetic technology has recently been extended to Ford’s commercial vehicles including the Southampton-produced Ford Transit ECOnetic which went on sale last year.
Ford Bridgend is gearing up for production of the new EcoBoost petrol engine, which will offer CO2 and fuel savings of up to 20 per cent compared with conventional petrol-engine technology. It will debut in the new Ford C-MAX this autumn.
Ford has applied for a total of £450 million from the European Investment Bank, which offers loans – repayable on commercial terms – targeting projects that improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions. In support of the application, Ford has secured the £360 million guarantee for its EIB loan through the UK Government’s Automotive Assistance Programme.
Keywords: Ford’s £1.5 billion Green Investment, £360 million Government loan guarantee, Ford Dagenham, UK Government Automotive Assistance Programme