'The Midlands continues to be a hotbed of engineering talent'

Steve Fowler highlights how the UK is a leader for automotive engineering

Opinion

We're unashamedly proud of the UK’s car industry here at Auto Express. When it comes to making cars, we Brits are as good as anyone around the world. And as we highlighted just a few issues ago, luxury and sports cars are a real UK specialism too.

This week I took a trip to one of the latest jewels in our car industry – Polestar’s new research and development centre, based at MIRA in the Midlands. This is where Polestar and its owner, Geely, have chosen to develop the new range-topping Polestar 5 model – and no doubt many more Polestars to come.

Talk to the people there and it soon becomes clear why they and their colleagues are so good at their jobs – the way they address problems with ingenious solutions is incredible. As are some of the things they create.

It seems Polestar’s CEO Thomas Ingenlath agrees. “Our UK R&D team is one of Polestar’s greatest assets,” he said. “Their mix of engineering and technological expertise enables us to develop advanced, lightweight sports-car technology with a creative mindset and a spirit that embraces innovative engineering. This will set Polestar apart in the years to come.”

Of course, the Midlands has been a hotbed of engineering talent for generations, so it’s no surprise that fellow Geely brand Lotus has shifted its design and engineering functions from Norfolk to the Midlands. 

And another new brand, the Indian EV maker Ola Electric, has announced £100m-worth of investment into its UK Futurefoundry, its ‘global centre for advanced engineering and vehicle design’. Former Jaguar man Wayne Burgess is in charge of the design side of things, and he said, “We’re setting up in Coventry because it’s a global epicentre of automotive and technology talent.”

Not long ago, Tesla was talking about a UK R&D base. That hasn’t happened yet, but I’m sure that firm and others are still eagerly eyeing the brilliance on offer in the UK.

Check out the latest on the upcoming UK-developed Polestar 5 here...

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