Welsh Secretary pledges support to automotive sector at ‘Driving the Future’ event

11 Jul 2019 10:58 AM

Alun Cairns hails enduring success of UK automotive sector during keynote speech.

As the UK Government marks the first anniversary of its ‘Road to Zero’ strategy, Welsh secretary Alun Cairns told representatives from the automotive sector that he wants the UK to be at the forefront of the design and manufacture of electric vehicles.

The ‘Driving the Future’ event, sponsored by Aston Martin, Bosch and Wunder Mobility, aimed to address the changing landscape of the automotive sector and its plans to confront these challenges through innovation and technological advancement.

During his keynote address, the Welsh Secretary hailed the enduring success of the UK automotive sector in the face of uncertainty, before going on to highlight Wales as the perfect location for automotive investment.

In his closing remarks the Welsh Secretary told leading sector representatives that the UK Government is committed to supporting and facilitating their innovation to ensure that the UK remains a world leader in the sector.

Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns yesterday said:

The unparalleled shift in consumer demand provides us with a golden opportunity to lead the way in designing the next generation of vehicles and technologies. Cultivating and developing this opportunity requires the automotive sector to innovate, expand and attract new investment to Wales and the UK.

Through the Industrial Strategy, the UK Government will provide you with the tools to do this, securing the future of this industry and guaranteeing jobs long into the future.

The event was co-sponsored by Aston Martin who, last year, announced that they were investing £50 million in their new state of the art facility in St Athan, making it their centre for electrification. Their investment will create an additional 200 jobs at the site and, in total, the new plant will bring up to 750 high skilled jobs to South Wales. This investment not only provided a welcome boost to the Welsh economy, but also demonstrated the incredible skillset of the Welsh workforce who were handpicked by Aston Martin to bring their brand to life.

Dr. Andy Palmer, Aston Martin Lagonda President & CEO, yesterday said:

We were delighted to welcome the Secretary of State as the keynote speaker at today’s event, where we have been setting out a positive future vision for sustainable mobility, along with our event partners Bosch and Wunder Mobility. As we approach the formal opening of our home of electrification at St Athan in South Wales, it is timely that the Secretary of State could join us to emphasise the important role of government in enabling the transition to new sustainable technologies and to reinforce the case for Wales as a place to do business.