Fleet News

MPs urge fleets to buy British

MPs have urged the Government to adopt a ‘buy British’ approach to vehicle procurement across all its agencies, departments and emergency service fleets.

However, public sector fleets have responded saying it is unworkable and impractical.

In a House of Commons Early Day Motion 20 MPs from all parties called on the Government to back British manufacturing.

It said: “This House notes the number of cars run by the police, ambulance service, fire service and Government departments which are built abroad; recognises the need to support British manufacturing and promote UK car and commercial vehicle production; and believes that the Government should take a lead in this area by ensuring that vehicles purchased by these authorities are built in the UK.”

Steve Botham, chairman of the National Association of Police Fleet Managers, called the motion “an impossible dream”.

He said: “Unfortunately we just don’t have the manufacturing base in the UK that can produce vehicles to the specification that police fleets need. And, as part of European law, we have to go out to tender.”

Roy Burke, chief executive of the Government Car and Despatch Agency, which provides chauffeur and car hire, security cars and governmental mail services, said: “Our policy is predetermined by the Cabinet Office and Department for Transport and our priority is on fitness for purpose and emissions are high on the agenda, too.”

There are strong manufacturing bases in the UK, although most are in foreign hands: Nissan in Sunderland, MINI in Oxford, Toyota in Derbyshire, Vauxhall in Ellesmere Port, Jaguar in the Midlands and Honda in Swindon.

A spokesman for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders said: “Their view is a little simplistic.”

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