At today’s meeting between industry leaders and the government, ministers were told tens of thousands of jobs are at risk if more help isn’t given to the car industry.
SMMT chief Paul Everitt welcomed yesterday’s £2.3bn aid package, which frees up loans for carmakers, but added problems extended to the lack of finance available to potential car buyers.
‘It was a serious and constructive meeting underlining the strategic importance of the UK motor industry,’ Everitt said after the meeting.
‘As an industry, we emphasised the lack of specific proposals to stimulate demand in the market and ease consumer credit, but have agreed to meet officials later this week to discuss technical issues holding up the ability of vehicle financing arms to get access to Bank of England funding.
‘We acknowledged the positive steps set out in yesterday’s statement and have agreed to work together to ensure that companies of all sizes are able to access the various government support schemes, including those announced yesterday.’
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is reported to have said work to boost credit had begun.
In a statement after the meeting, Lord Mandelson said the package of loan guarantees had been welcomed by the manufacturers and they had discussed how carmakers and suppliers could access them.
‘There was also agreement at today’s meeting to take forward work to improve car company financing arms’ access to funding,’ he said.
He said his department had already opened exploratory discussions with banks and there would be more meetings on the issue with manufacturers this week.