Photographer: Dario Pignatelli/Bloomberg

BMW, Ford Win U.K. Funds for Driverless, Low-Carbon Vehicles

  • Government cash to protect jobs, boost innovation, Clark says
  • Business secretary says aim to keep auto industry competetive

BMW AG, Ford Motor Co. and Jaguar Land Rover are among the winners of 110 million pounds ($136 million) from the U.K. for the development of low-carbon vehicles and driverless cars.

The funding for a total of 38 projects, including 62 million pounds for low-emission cars and 31 million pounds for autonomous vehicles, will help protect almost 2,400 jobs, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said Tuesday.

The cash is part of an effort to identify and nurture industries of the future as Britain pulls itself out of the European Union, putting at risk trade ties to its closest neighbors. Business Secretary Greg Clark has reassured motor manufacturers including Nissan Motor Co. and PSA Group of the U.K.’s commitment to the industry in order to persuade them to maintain and expand their British operations.

“Low carbon and driverless cars are the future and as a government we are determined through the industrial strategy to build on our strengths and put the U.K. at the forefront of this revolution,” Clark said in an e-mail. “Investment in this technology is an integral part of this government’s efforts to ensure the U.K. auto sector remains competitive and world-leading.”

Other companies awarded funding include CNH Industrial, Penso Consulting, Westfield Sportscars, Williams Advanced Engineering, Equipmake, Great British Sports Cars, Ricardo Innovations, Romax Technology and Wrightbus.

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