A Spanish electric vehicle company has opened a new office, training centre and its first UK showroom in the West Midlands.
Barcelona-based Silence has launched the 7,530 sq ft venture in Haslucks Green Road, Shirley, where ten jobs have initially been created.
It said this was the first of a planned expansion across the UK which it expects to support around 200 jobs, with sites in London and Manchester next on its radar.
Silence, which was founded in 2012, designs and manufactures two-wheeled scooters, battery packs and accessories.
It operates a business partnership model and now produces 10,000 scooters per year from its plant in the Spanish city.
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The launch in Shirley comes just weeks ahead of the start of Birmingham’s new Clean Air Zone on June 1.
John Edwards, a founding partner of Silence UK, said: “Solihull makes the perfect location for investment in the first phase of our launch and establishment of our UK headquarters.
“Not only is the West Midlands already a hub for electric vehicle businesses and research but its leaders are focused on ecomobility and infrastructure.”
Coun Ian Courts, leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, added: “Their investment reflects the confidence in the region as we position ourselves to be at the forefront of low-carbon future mobility.
“Transport currently accounts for 39 per cent of Co2 emissions across the borough.
“Tackling this area is going to be key to unlocking our low-carbon future and achieving our net-zero carbon aspirations for the region by 2041.”
Dan Storer, chief investment officer at West Midlands Growth Company, said: “Silence joins the West Midlands’ leading automotive cluster at a strategic moment in its evolution.
“Building on a robust legacy of spearheading transport innovations, our region has a rigorous proposition to supercharge the future mobility ambitions of industry and Government.
“The decision for Silence to base its UK headquarters in Solihull is affirmation of the region’s potential to accelerate innovation in the sector and drive interest from foreign companies with aspirations to be part of a world-class automotive ecosystem.”