LEADING figures from the fleet industry are holding ground-breaking talks with senior ministers in the Treasury today in a bid to secure vital support in future policy decisions.
The meeting will be the first time key groups from every side of the fleet industry have taken part in a joint briefing, which will tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the industry.
Key members of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders are expected to meet with Economic Secretary John Healey.
Although members of each trade association have held separate talks in the past, this will be the first time they have brought their combined power together to have the maximum impact in making their message heard in the corridors of power.
Together the trade associations represent industries worth billions of pounds to the British economy, covering the majority of the company car market.
Details of the meeting were revealed within days of Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown announcing he will deliver his pre-Budget report to Parliament on December 10 and discussions are expected to centre on what the different areas of the motor industry want to see in the announcement.
This will be one of the most important statements in recent years for the fleet industry, with an announcement expected on the future of taxation on alternative fuels, the future of van taxation and changes to Vehicle Excise Duty bands.
Although an agenda had yet to be agreed for the meeting as Fleet News went to press, many key issues affecting the fleet industry will be given vital exposure. A spokesman for the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association said: 'We are working very hard to make sure that the voice of our industry is heard.'
A spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders added: 'We would not normally sit down as a group of associations with Government and this is the first time it has happened.
'We will cover a range of motor-related issues and it is an opportunity to explore Government thinking for the future and bring all of our ideas and concerns. We will just have to wait to see what comes out.'
The Association of Car Fleet Operators will also be passing on the concerns of members during the meeting.