Automotive Industry Funding: What’s Out There?

Automotive Industry Funding: What’s Out There?

£££’s available for businesses within the industry, but what for and how can you access it?


The automotive industry in the UK is ever-changing- and with technological advancements being made often, it is a constant and rapidly growing sector. Brexit however, has caused a lot of uncertainty on what the future holds for the automotive sector in the UK. Mike Hawes, Chief Executive of SMMT stated: “To restore certainty to manufacturers and operators, encourage fleet investment and keep trade flowing freely with our key global customers – most of which are in the EU – we need urgent clarity on the future trading arrangements between Britain and Europe.” Although perhaps encouragingly, cars built within the UK now have 15% more UK content than they did five years ago (The Digitalisation of the UK Automotive Industry – SMMT). This paints a mixed picture of the direction the sector is headed in, but opens up many doors for funding potential.

The industry is still coping with the backlash caused by the Volkswagen diesel scandal of 2015. The government had fully promoted the importance of diesel cars in reducing carbon emissions, so much so that sales went from 14% of registered diesel cars in 1999 to 55% in 2012. It soon became apparent that a diesel engine whilst producing less carbon dioxide, in fact produces significantly more nitrogen oxides and particular matter than their petrol counterpart, meaning that a diesels engines true impact on the environment and on our carbon footprint is to be debated. This in turn has caused major manufacturers to speed up the development of electric vehicles and hybrids.

The UK is the largest ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) market in the EU with over 110,000 ULEVs on the road. Grants for consumers to purchase ULEVs and improved charging infrastructure have caused this market growth. The UK government and automotive industry are funding a £1 billion Advanced Propulsion Centre for later stage R&D projects around low carbon powertrain and production.

Whilst major manufacturers seem to be focused on the development of EV’s, the UK industry’s main issue seems to be that of digitalisation. The UK has “historically been a leader in the adoption of lean process techniques, but is facing consumer demand for greater personalisation and shorter lead times combined with increased competition from low-cost countries’ (The Digitalisation of the UK Automotive Industry – SMMT).

Digitalisation is seen to be the way forward in most industries, and although many advances are already embedded within the automotive industry such as robotics on production lines, there is now the vast potential to go even further, with human-machine interfaces, 3D printing and maximising the use of the cloud for data storage and sharing. The opportunities to adapt and develop are extraordinary and unprecedented.

How We Can Help

Many funding options available seem to focus on the development of new technologies that will help to lower our carbon footprint and to tackle environmental issues, or to aid in the move toward a more digital industry. Other grants aim to fund projects that will help to create new and lasting job opportunities and apprenticeships for people looking to break into the industry.

Below are a few examples of the kind of funds that are available to access now within the automotive industry;

Grants are not the only type of funding available to businesses operating in the automotive sector. With continuous advancements being made with cars, and within the industry in general, Research and Development is at the forefront of most manufacturers.

With digitalisation being seen as key, and with new technologies in vehicle design, claiming R&D credits is a vital form of funding that many smaller companies seem to be missing out on. Embedded Capital Allowance (ECA) may also be claimed by any commercial property owners who have had their buildings modified or repurposed.

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T4C are business growth specialists with a focus on working with companies to access the funding arena with an aim to aid their growth aspirations. We undertake detailed analyses of each business we work with and have a range of in-house experts who can develop further growth opportunities across a variety of areas such as funding, access to finance, tax relief, training, and marketing.

Any organisations who think they may be eligible for funding or have an interest in learning more about the services we offer can contact us by:

0333 990 0125


Commerce House, Commerce Park, Wirral, Merseyside, CH41 9HP