Prime minister indicates support for the motor industry

14 January 2009 #SMMT News

Following the announcement of a loan guarantee scheme for small and medium-sized businesses, Prime Minister Gordon Brown has indicated specific support for the automotive industry may follow.


Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions this afternoon, Mr Brown said: “There are two issues here (affecting the automotive industry): one is a shortage of demand and the second is the availability of credit for people buying their cars. We have been talking to the various car companies and we will make announcements in due course. But these two problems have got to be dealt with.


“The car credit problem is basically a market that is outside the traditional banking industry. And we have to look at what we can do so that market doesn’t freeze like other markets have. This is a detailed technical question about how we get help into the car loan industry. Some firms have already asked for help for training skilled workers during the downturn and we are prepared to do that. In other words we will do everything we can to help.”


SMMT’s chief executive, Paul Everitt responded: “While various announcements made at national and European levels, including today’s loan guarantee scheme announcement are all welcomed, they only meet part of the automotive support package proposed to government.


“Employing over 800,000 people and with a £51bn turnover, the automotive sector is critical to the health of the UK economy. The industry faces the current challenges stronger and more resilient than in recent memory but further action to ease access to finance and credit across the economy is essential if long-term damage to valuable industrial capability is to be avoided.


“The industry is in constant dialogue with government on these issues and we welcome the comments made by the Prime Minister this afternoon but once again emphasise the urgency of the situation and need for early government support.”

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