UK automotive industry of ”critical national importance”

11 December 2008 #SMMT News

The automotive industry’s call for government support received a positive boost today (11 December 2008) amid a House of Commons debate. Ian Pearson MP, economic and business secretary for BERR re-confirmed government’s commitment to working with the industry to support it through the current economic crisis.

Responding to a parliamentary question, Pearson said: ‘I have already written to supply chain companies, through the manufacturers, outlining the package of measures that are already available from government. However, we need to see whether we can do anything further because we recognise as a government that the UK automotive industry is of critical national importance’.

He went on to say: ‘We need to see whether there is more that we can do to help some of the companies that are viable but are facing unprecedented shocks to their businesses as a result of the problems that we are seeing internationally’

Speaking on the wider impact on manufacturing, Pearson said: ‘We need to ensure that we are up to the mark and taking action to support our companies through these difficult times, and that is exactly what we are going to do’.

On behalf of the industry, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is calling for a package of measures to support the UK automotive sector from dealers to vehicle manufacturers, through to the supply chain. The package includes allowing manufacturers’ finance companies access to the Bank of England’s special liquidity arrangements, loan facilities, a review of motoring taxation and support for training, research and development.

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