European supplier body, CLEPA, has hailed the UK's efforts to provide creative funding and training as a model for other markets to follow in straitened times.

The UK will post an automotive trade surplus for first time in decades this year as automakers and suppliers take advantage of a relatively stable economic prognosis and government-backed initiatives.

UK trade minister, Michael Fallon, attended a reception at the British Embassy this week in Paris nwhere he met CLEPA and supplier bodies such as Scandinavian parts association, FKG, with both bodies impressedd. 

"The UK has a willingness to simplify regulations and has made the [British] automotive industry great again - we have a lot of admiration for that," CLEPA CEO, Jean-Marc Gales told just-auto today (28 September) at the Paris motor show. "

"With capacity of 1.8m by 2018, the UK has for the fist time for 30 to 40 years a trade surplus in the automotive industry. The UK is creative with engineering technology and range extenders [for example] and attracting innovative suppliers back to the UK."

The CLEPA chief also highlighted powertrain and environmental technology in Britain, as well as a willingness by the automotive industry to engage with universities encouraged the Automotive Council.

In common with most European markets, the UK is enduring a tough economic period as the government looks to address a colossal debt mountain, but the vehicle producing and supplier landscape remains in relatively robust health.

CLEPA also revealed it was continuing its key lobbying role in Brussels, by pushing for up to EUR5.5bn of cash funding from the European Commission, as well as developing a benign position from the European Investment Bank to allow its members access to crucial credit lines.

"We are of course increasing our lobbying efforts," said Gales. "We are asking for a lot of money - we probably should have called for EUR5.5bn a few years ago but it is never too late."

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