Fleet News

Rover man attacks 'muddled legislative and fiscal planning'

A SCATHING attack on 'here today gone tomorrow bureaucrats' for their 'muddled legislative and fiscal planning' was launched by Rover Group regional manager corporate sales Mike O'Hara. Giving the sponsor's Institute of Car Fleet Management conference address, O'Hara said Rover's parent company BMW was investing about £4 billion in the UK at car plants and a new engine factory.

Simultaneously other manufacturers including Nissan, Peugeot, Vauxhall, Ford, Toyota and Honda, were all continuing to invest in the UK as a vehicle manufacturing base. 'The role of the UK in the European car business will continue to grow,' said O'Hara. 'But we don't know what is happening in the UK market. It is all at the whim of here today gone tomorrow bureaucrats.'

Criticising what he called the muddled legislative and fiscal planning by the British Government on vehicle transport issues, including the company car and European differences particularly with regard to tax and currency harmonisation, O'Hara said: 'We are in dire straits in a hugely capital intensive industry.' And, he questioned in a bid to improve the situation whether manufacturers should not 'get their act together'.

His central concerns surround vehicle environmental, legislative and fiscal issues still to be resolved by Government and the findings of the Competition Commission investigation into new cars to be published next month. As a consequence the size and engine capacity of vehicles rolling off production lines could change significantly from the present time and the near future. However, manufacturers cannot change production schedules overnight and need time to plan.

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