Gestamp is to receive a EUR200m (US$220m) loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to develop new research lines.

The Spanish supplier's EIB-financed innovation strategy will centre on development of new metal processing technologies for application to the production of vehicle components such as chassis and bodywork.

The EIB funding will enable Gestamp to invest in innovation, research and development in its factories in Spain, Germany, France and Sweden. A large part of the investment will take place in Spain, where Gestamp has its headquarters.

The loan is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe, which enables the EIB to finance projects, which present particular value added owing to their structure or nature. The project will be implemented across four years. Gestamp currently has 43 000 employees, 1,600 of whom work in the RDI area.

"Investing in innovation has to be one of the key components of fostering economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus crisis," said EIB VP, Emma Navarro, responsible for the bank's activities in Spain. "This is why we are pleased to be supporting an innovative project that will strengthen the competitiveness of a great Spanish multinational and contribute to European leadership in the automotive industry, one of the sectors hit by the impact of the pandemic."

"This agreement will boost the development of electric cars and lighter and less polluting vehicles. Financing clean technologies is one of the EIB's priorities in facilitating the transition to a new low-carbon economic model."

For his part, Gestamp CEO, Francisco López Peña, added: "This EIB support is reinforcing Gestamp's commitment to innovation, one of our Group's priorities in its contribution to the production of lighter and safer vehicles. Innovation has always been essential to Gestamp's activity, but it will undoubtedly gain even more importance as we emerge from the crisis that we are facing.

"This EIB loan represents a show of confidence in Gestamp's project and it will strengthen the Group's financing means so it can continue contributing to the development of the mobility of the future."

In 2019, the EU bank provided EUR14.44bn to finance different RDI projects. In Spain last year, the EIB made available more than EUR1.32bn in support of the innovation projects of Spanish companies.