EU bank loans for green investment

EU bankers have given a boost to the troubled British motor trade with multimillion-pound loans to two car firms for investment in greener vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will receive a £340 million loan to invest in environmental technology, while Nissan's Sunderland plant and the firm's factory in Spain have also been approved a £380 million loan for green cars.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) gave the go-ahead for the loans which are part of a £2.3 billion package for the UK car industry, guaranteed by the UK Government, and announced by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson.

JLR, which has plants in the West Midlands and Merseyside, said this would: "support our significant investments in environmental technologies that are crucial for the future - part of a total commitment by the business of over £800 million."

"Access to the funding is subject to a number of due diligence and commercial loan criteria including partial backing by the UK's Government guarantee scheme that we will be working to complete as quickly as possible."

The loans come at a crucial time, as the industry has been hit hard by the recession with job losses, plant closures and a slump in year-on-year sales of more than 30%.

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