Fleet News

Motor industry pleads for fleet incentives to boost demand

The motor industry has called for a range of measures, including several that would be of benefit to fleets.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) sent a joint letter to the chancellor, Alistair Darling, and business secretary, Lord Mandelson, pleading for help to stimulate demand for new cars.

The letter suggests that the government should increase capital allowances for fleet buyers, particularly for buyers of commercial vehicles, to stimulate immediate demand.

It also suggests that plans for reform of business car capital allowances should be shelved, as the overall impact and timing is “unhelpful”.

The letter also recommends that the chancellor should remove expensive car restrictions under capital allowances to help demand for UK higher-end manufacturers.

Other suggestions include allowing manufacturers’ finance companies access to the funding available to banks through the special liquidity arrangements and scrapping plans for increased VED and new first year rate.

“The motor industry faces a set of unprecedented market conditions.

"The dramatic falls in demand for new vehicles in the UK, Europe and around the world, combined with the limited availability of funding and liquidity now puts at risk valuable industrial capability.

"Urgent action is required to boost demand for new vehicles and ease pressure on UK automotive suppliers,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT chief executive.

“The pre-budget report should set out the strategy and measures needed to restore consumer confidence and support valuable industrial capability during this difficult period.”

Paul Williams, RMIF chairman said: “It is vital that the motor industry presents a united front at this time.

"These measures and others, jointly presented by the two industry trade associations, would go some way to helping the revival of consumer confidence in our sector.

"We urge the chancellor to undertake these measures, and to discuss further action with us if necessary.”

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