A commitment to advanced manufacturing and world class design are key to fixing Britain’s economy, according to the chief executive of Jaguar Land Rover.
Ralf Speth said despite a “chronic shortage” of people going into science and engineering in the UK, manufacturing should be at the heart of British industry and could help to cure its “economic ills”.
Speaking at a dinner at Birmingham City Council House during a three-day conference organised by the British American Business Council, he added that design, innovation and research and development would be critical for the success of the UK and the US.
“These value-creating advanced processes enable the company to adapt and to change as customer needs adapt and change,” said Dr Speth.
“The integration of technology, business, environmental and social best practice is vital in order for manufacturing companies to deliver to the customer today and deliver to the customer tomorrow.
“In certain sectors Britain is very good at this – defence, pharmaceutical and automotive – but it’s an area where it can learn lessons from abroad and in particular from the US.
“The technological revolution that has come out of the US is no accident.
“At JLR we have a very ambitious programme to develop about 40 new products over the next five years.
“This year alone we will invest around £3 billion in the product creation process, making JLR the UK’s largest automotive research and development investor.
“There’s no better way of reindustrialising than through manufacturing.”
He added that Jaguar Land Rover’s recovery was “proof that Britain still has the advanced manufacturing base that can compete on the world stage”.
The US is the second biggest market for Jaguar and the third biggest for Land Rover.