Britain, carmakers to invest $1.5 billion in engine research

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 12, 2013 10:16 hrs

LONDON (Reuters) - The British government and the auto industry will invest 1 billion pounds in a research centre to develop low-carbon technologies and help secure the jobs of 30,000 people working in the country's car engine supply chain.

The government and a group of 27 firms including oil major BP , Indian carmaker Tata Motors and component maker GKN will each invest 500 million pounds over the next decade in an Advanced Propulsion Centre, which will look to research, develop and commercialise those technologies.

Sixteen straight months of rising car sales in the UK are a rare bright spot for Europe's recession-hit motor industry and the government aims to persuade more of the world's top carmakers and automotive suppliers to base operations in Britain.

"The UK automotive sector has been incredibly successful in recent times, with billions of pounds of investment and new jobs," Business Secretary Vince Cable said on Friday. "With the next generation of vehicles set to be powered by radically different technologies we need to maintain this momentum and act now."

Other companies backing the investment include BMW Group , Bosch , Ford , Caterpillar and Nissan <7201.T>.

($1 = 0.6615 British pounds)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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