Luxembourg – European automakers will have access to €866 million in loans to help design and build cleaner cars, following an announcement by the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The new funding is in addition to €3.6 billion approved since last December for European car and truck companies. Further loans planned for submission to the EIB’s board in May and June would reach an even wider range of beneficiaries, including component suppliers, and bring the total approved lending to the motor industry to more than €7 billion since December, when the EIB launched a support package to aid Europe’s economic recovery from the current crisis.

Some 63 per cent of the recent funds approved will be provided under the EIB’s European Clean Transport Facility. This targets significant cuts in CO2 emissions through research, development and innovation, as well as the production of cleaner and more fuel-efficient cars and other transport. The balance, which is also aimed at smaller, safer and more fuel-efficient cars, will be provided under the EIB’s convergence objective to support Europe’s less affluent regions, and its external lending mandate for Asia and Latin America.

The loans include €400 million to Nissan’s European operations to develop and build more fuel-efficient vehicles in the United Kingdom and Spain, and €366 million to Jaguar Land Rover to help cut vehicle emissions. A loan was also approved for Volkswagen to build a plant in India, which will produce small cars that meet tougher emission requirements ahead of their introduction in major Indian cities from 2010.

The EIB has signed loans with BMW, Renault and Volvo Trucks since they were approved at the last board meeting on March 12, 2009.

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