He spoke at the SMMT annual dinner last night (Tuesday 25th November). The transport industry is ‘indispensible’, he added, with 850,000 jobs depending on it.
This is why the Chancellor has set out measures to ‘rebuild consumer confidence, so showrooms get buyers in again.’
These include VED and VAT help, and the interest rate cut. ‘This is a substantial economic stimulus package.
‘We will work closely with you to ensure our action is benefitting business,’ he explained.
Motor industry chiefs are to meet with Business Secretary Lord Mandleson on Thursday 27th November. Hoon said Government was ‘aware of the (industry’s) request for financial support.’
But, he continued, there is a bigger global challenge – that of climate change. ‘It is a threat we must all take seriously.’
‘A step change in green vehicles similar to that seen in vehicle safety needs to be seen.’
‘If we’re to face up to these challenges, we must work together. The world is changing, and the industry has to change with it.’
Hoon was upbeat though, despite the challenges ahead. ‘The automotive industry is a great industry, that is vital to our economy.
‘If it adapts, evolves, I’m confident it will adapt to the global downturn and emerge even stronger.’