Fleet News

Car makers call for government help

Senior motor industry representatives have met with the government to appeal for help in kick-starting the new and used car markets.

Groups including the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) met with business secretary Lord Mandelson last week to appeal for help from the government.

Among the topics of discussion were accessing finance to allow lending on vehicles by allowing manufacturer finance companies access to the funding available to banks through the special liquidity arrangements.

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the SMMT, said: “We had an open and constructive meeting, and emphasised the urgent need to address liquidity and restore demand.

“We have agreed to explore collaboratively a range of solutions in a timescale that matches the urgency of the situation.”

According to the most recent SMMT figures, the new car market in the UK is down by 8.8% year-to-date at 1.92 million registrations. Sales of new cars fell by 23% in October. In the used market, residual values are plummeting on many vehicles, and lack of finance means there are very few buyers.

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