GOVT AID CALL FOR MOTOR FIRMS
Government aid to car firms is essential to save thousands of jobs in the West Midlands and beyond claims Northfield MP Richard Burden.
After debating the issue in parliament yesterday, Burden said: “The motor industry contributes a huge amount to the UK – a turnover of £51 billion, 840,000 jobs, 11 percent of the UK’s exports.
"There are more than 40 companies manufacturing vehicles in the UK and this is supported by a vast network of supply-chain and performance engineering firms.
"Here in the West Midlands we all know the importance of this industry. With a turnover of £13 billion it provides a quarter of all West Midlands manufacturing. And more than most we also know the impact that the loss of a car firm can have - on jobs, local firms and the sense of community.
'Like other countries, our economy is going through some very challenging times. This has serious implications for the whole of the motor industry.
"New car registrations fell by 36.8 percent in November. Many manufacturers are extending shutdowns or pauses in production. In turn, component suppliers are being hit hard.
"The Government deserves credit for the actions it has already taken to support and work with the motor industry.
"But more needs to be done. It is vital, for example, that we get credit into the system to boost sales of cars and enable automotive companies to maintain the investment that is needed for the future.
"We should also be encouraging public authorities who are looking to update their car fleets to get their orders in now. And we need to use this time as an opportunity to invest in training in order to up-skill our workforce.
"Firms need this support not just to get them through the current tough times put to protect the future of the UK motor industry.
"For if we start to lose a critical mass of companies, of supply chains and of skills, there is a danger we'll lose this industry and it will not be in a position to return once the upturn comes.
"The UK automotive industry is just too important to become fatally damaged by the economic downturn. Action is needed and it is needed now."
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