The UK's new Automotive Council, co-chaired by government industry minister Lord Mandelson and former Ford Europe 'chassis guru' Professor Richard Parry-Jones, met for the first time today, establishing a strategic partnership between industry and government.

The council, made up of a cross-section of senior motor industry representatives, agreed its key objectives were to help make the UK a compelling investment opportunity for the global automotive industry, promote the country as a base for the development of low carbon vehicle technologies and to secure a strong local supply industry.
SMMT chief executive and council member Paul Everitt said: "This first meeting marks a significant development in the relationship between the motor industry and UK government. It signals a new and more collaborative approach, which will help sustain industrial capability and place the UK as a leader in the development and exploitation of low carbon vehicle technologies.
"I am delighted that one of the first results is the commitment by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and the Technology Strategy Board to provide an additional GBP19m to fund supply chain projects for ultra-low carbon vehicles. This provides an important signal about the influence of the council and provides real opportunities for companies that want to be at the forefront of new technologies," he added.
The council will oversee the development of a co-ordinated and strategic approach to the sector, with a Supply Chain Council and Technology Council leading specific areas of work.