Britain’s two biggest motor trade organisations are openly lobbying the Government to assign financial support for the beleaguered car industry.
In a joint effort, the Society of Motor Traders and Manufacturers (SMMT) and the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) are proposing a package of loans and legislative changes intended to stimulate the UK vehicle market.
In a letter to Chancellor Alistair Darling and business secretary Lord Mandelson, both organisations called for car manufacturers and suppliers to have access to government-backed loans to help them stay afloat.
They also want plans to increase road tax scrapped and an increase in allowances for business car users.
The letter argues that motor finance companies should have access to the same loan arrangements as the banks, helping to reduce the effects on them of the credit crunch. This is manifesting itself as a lack of finance to help people buy cars, and also to let dealers fund purchase of stock.
Autocar understands the joint RMIF and SMMT proposals are supported by many of Britain’s major car makers, particularly Jaguar Land Rover.
“It is vital that the motor industry present a united front at this time,” said RMIF chairman Paul Williams. “These measures would go some way to helping the revival of consumer confidence in our sector.”
“Urgent action is required to boost demand for new vehicles and ease pressure on UK automotive suppliers,” added SMMT Chief Executive Paul Everitt.
Chancellor Darling delivers his pre-budget report next Monday (24 November) when both organisations hope he will support at least some of their proposals.