It would be great to think that today’s finance package signals a significant thawing of relations between our government and the car industry.
My feeling is that for the past decade Westminster has taken the industry for granted, assuming its jobs, investment and foreign trade will always be there regardless of how much it was threatened by taxes and anti-car legislation.But the economic recession has proven that is not necessarily the case.
I’d have loved to have been a fly-on-the-wall in Lord Mandelson’s office when Nissan dropped its post-Christmas bombshell that 1200 jobs were heading down the swanee.
Europe’s most efficient plant and the jewel in the British car industry crown dropped a shift fewer than six months after several years planning to add it.
I’m guessing that up to that point, the Westminster concensus viewed the concerns of the car industry as exaggerated.