The automotive sector is a key part of British industry, with automotive-related manufacturing contributing around £67 billion in turnover to the UK economy, accounting for 10% of the UK’s total exports.

Having largely overcome the semiconductor crisis and various supply chain issues, coupled with the receding challenges of Covid, the sector has been fighting back from the trials of the last few years. Proactive and appropriately targeted government support is a vital part of the automotive industry’s long-term prospects. So, the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Plan (AMP), launched at the end of 2023, has been keenly anticipated by many in the sector.

What is the Advanced Manufacturing Plan?

Manufacturing is moving at a rapid rate across the world. It is crucial that the UK keeps up with advances in automation and digitisation, as well as developments in clean technology and sustainable practices to ensure that British manufacturing retains its enviable reputation for quality and innovation.

The AMP aims to promote, implement and integrate the use of advanced science and technology within manufacturing, using R&D and innovation to create products that meet future technological demands. As part of the programme, the government has created five investment zones within England to focus on advanced manufacturing, with funding of £160 million allocated to these zones over the next decade.

The five chosen zones are all located north of London; they are South Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, the North East, the West Midlands and the East Midlands, where Interflex is based. The East Midlands has long been at the forefront of a variety of manufacturing from food to footwear and is also a hub for industries such as engineering and logistics. The region has the highest manufacturing employment rate and is second only to Wales in Growth Value Added.

Investing in automotive innovation

According to the AMP, the government will achieve its aims by setting three key priorities that drive the programme:

  1. Investing in the future of manufacturing by extending and building on successful programmes to 2030, and forging partnerships with businesses to support market-led investment in innovation and research and development.
  2. Co-operating internationally and increasing UK capability to build supply chain resilience, boost economic security and ensure sectors have access to the goods that drive prosperity.
  3. Reducing costs and removing barriers to boost competitiveness and ensure the UK retains its attractiveness to international investors in the long term

The government has also pledged £4.5 billion worth of funding to be released over five years from 2025 to 2030 designed to facilitate investment in strategic manufacturing sectors. For every £1 of government investment, the government is aiming to leverage £5 of additional private sector investment. £3 billion of this funding has been allocated to the automotive and aerospace industries, and in recognition of the importance of electric vehicles, will include investment in batteries as part of the drive towards net zero. Other programmes, such as the  Automotive Transformation Fund (ATF) and Auto 2030 will help support the impact of the AMP and accelerate the automotive sector’s transition to electrification.

Removing supply chain barriers

In addition to investment in manufacturing, the AMP aims to build more resilience into the supply chain through international liaison and co-operation, hopefully helping to avoid issues such as the semiconductor crisis that hindered vehicle manufacturers’ bounce back post Covid. Processes around automotive capital grants will also be reviewed with the aim of simplification to make them more user-friendly.

At Interflex, as developers and manufacturers of high-performance insulation materials and automotive parts, we have always believed in innovation and investment in our processes, production, equipment and workforce – even when budgets were stretched during the challenge of Covid. That’s why we developed the sustainable material range Ocean for use in the automotive industry – and then rolled it out for thermal and acoustic insulation and NVH applications across a whole range of industries including rail, marine transport, construction and leisure vehicles.

Quality thermal, acoustic and NVH solutions made in the UK

Interflex supply a wide range of sustainable and cost-effective NVH and insulation solutions for the automotive industry and others. To find out more about how we can meet your NVH needs from our Nottinghamshire base, please call us on 01949 861 494, or email us at sales@interflex2000.com.