The catalyst was the switch to electrification, explains Constance: “In a growing market, it’s always easier to gain market share than with something already established. If you’re trying to gain market share with scorecards, say, you’re in a zero-sum game. For electric motors, batteries or power electronics, the market is growing, so you have to take your share.
Where the UK failed was in the commercialization part of the equation, Constance added: ‘UK is great at coming up with new ideas, but what was happening was that those ideas were falling. down because no one wanted to fund them or were bought by one company and funded elsewhere.
Manufacturing jobs are the big prize as the UK seeks to rebuild the auto production network after its erosion over the past three decades.
Constance said his organization’s funding created 50,000 jobs, many in manufacturing, though he declined to give an example of an APC innovation project that created a significant number of jobs. manufacturing jobs in the UK.
It is clear, however, that the money mainly supported research and development jobs. It’s not a bad thing, but it’s manufacturing that creates the biggest impact on the economy.
“Nissan’s turnover, which makes 400,000 cars a year in Sunderland, is in the billions, and there is a large part of that which is the added value of the UK economy,” Constance said. “A design center employing maybe a few thousand people can have an annual budget of a billion, so the added value will not be the same, but the intangible benefits to the industry are difficult to quantify. “
He gives the example of Ford. It was awarded £ 4.8million to help develop the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid van with partner companies Prodrive (who built the first prototypes) and Revolve Technologies, a well-known engineering services provider to Ford under its former name, RoushTechnologies.