The Secretary of State for Business, Skills and Innovation visited Europe’s premier pre-season motorsport show today, Autosport International, where he praised the international influence and economic importance of the UK motorsport industry.
Rt Hon Sajid Javid met with a host of exhibitors and key UK motorsport VIPs at the NEC event, which runs until Sunday 17th January. With the UK motorsport industry worth £9billion and employing close to 50,000 people with 4,000 motorsport companies, Mr Javid applauded its importance to the UK economy, and also recognised the key international role it plays.
Hosted by Ian France, Autosport International Show Director and Chris Aylett, Chief Executive of the Motorsport Industry Association (MIA), the world’s leading trade association for the motorsport and high performance engineering sectors, Mr Javid met with exhibitors at Autosport Engineering, the dedicated trade show atAutosport International. Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Autosport Engineering showcases the latest cutting edge machinery and components on the eve of the new motorsport season.
This year Autosport International also has a major feature devoted to much-loved British F1 team, Williams – one of eight F1 teams located in the swathe of the West Midlands and Oxfordshire known as ‘motorsport valley’.
Underlining the importance of the UK to the international racing scene, of the 11 F1 teams competing in the 2016 Formula 1 World Championship, eight call the UK home, as do many hundreds of key suppliers.
According to the MIA’s ‘Snapshot Business Survey’, released earlier this week, the global success of the UK’s 4,000 motorsport companies continues to grow, as it has done for the past five years. Recent international investment in UK motorsport skills has come from Renault, which purchased the former Lotus F1 team based at Enstone, Oxfordshire – and also engaged Ilmor of Brixworth, near Northampton to provide support with its F1 engine development programme. Brixworth is also where F1 World Champions Mercedes AMG Petronas design and manufacture their world-beating engines, and will supply three other F1 teams.
Banbury recently welcomed investment from Haas Automation of California USA who chose the town as the European base for their new Haas F1 team, across the road from Manor F1. These investments and others when coupled with the fast growing export sales of UK motorsport companies means plenty of jobs are available – some 95 per cent of those who responded to the MIA’s survey have well-rewarded skilled vacancies currently available.
Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said: “Britain and motorsport have long gone hand-in-hand with success, and the engines that have powered Lewis Hamilton to the pinnacle of Formula One in consecutive years are designed and manufactured here in the UK.
“Our involvement in motorsport, including in the new Formula E series, shows the strength of British engineering and innovation in one of the most competitive and demanding environments there is.”
Chris Aylett, Chief Executive of the MIA, said: “We are delighted that the Business Secretary has demonstrated his continuing interest in the motorsport industry by visiting exhibitors at Autosport International and speaking with the MIA membership. A £9bn UK industry which employs nearly 50,000 people, UK motorsport continues to lead the world in this highly competitive field. The innovative skills, fast-response processes and can-do attitude of this outstanding workforce makes it virtually unbeatable, attracting new investment from many other sectors.”
Ian France, Autosport International Show Director, said: “We are very proud to host the Business Secretary atAutosport International today and grateful for his support of this remarkable industry. From F1 teams to component suppliers, the UK motorsport industry is absolutely chock full of highly skilled people – and it’s this talent that regular shines on not just the national but international stage.”