It’s no big secret the British auto industry has been floundering. Most of the country’s premier labels are now owned by foreign companies, and with Asia’s car industry continuing to surge last month’s sale of Jaguar and Land Rover to India’s Tata is unlikely to be the last we’ll see of foreign takeovers in the UK.

To put a stop to the worsening trend, the country’s minister for business and enterprise affairs, Shriti Vadera, has ordered an investigation of the local auto industry. Officials plan to look at two main areas of vulnerability: foreign competition that can effectively price the UK out of the market and the development of new technologies to combat emissions.

The investigation will be conducted by a team of around 10 personnel and will be headed by former Ford exec Richard Parry-Jones. The review comes at a time when the UK motor industry is experiencing a slump, having reduced in size by around 100,000 units in the last couple of years alone. This number is expected to worsen if new cars do not meet tough new emissions standards being imposed around the world and tackle issues of cost-reduction and technology improvement.

The report is expected to be completed around 2009 and will report on strategies to improve production using "all levers of government, both regulatory and fiscal".

Pictured above is the production line for the TF roadster in Longbridge, which is now run by MG’s new owners Shanghai Automotive (SAIC). It is just one of many UK production sites owned and run by foreign parties.