Westminster debate support for UK motor industry

17 December 2008 #SMMT News

Possible government support for the UK motor industry was debated in Westminster Hall this afternoon (17 December 2008) following a proposal by Sandra Gidley MP.


On behalf of the industry, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called for government 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. 


Business minister Ian Pearson MP responded to the debate recognising government’s ongoing dialogue with the industry but saying state aid must only be an exceptional measure in exceptional circumstances.


Following the debate, SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: ‘The motor industry is facing unprecedented market conditions which are having a direct impact on UK jobs and manufacturing. Normally strong companies are facing a bleak future purely as a result of the global banking crisis. It is now vital for UK government to follow the lead of other EU countries and act immediately to demonstrate its commitment to the motor industry and manufacturing as a whole.’


Following an industry meeting with Lord Mandelson on 27 November, SMMT is awaiting an official government response to the proposed measures.

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