Darling vows car industry support

As thousands of Vauxhall staff continue to hope for some sign of job security, the Chancellor vowed the Government would support the car industry.

Alistair Darling insisted the industry was important to the UK economy but did not give any guarantees to the carmaker's 5,000 workers at Luton and Ellesmere Port factories.

He said: "We will do everything we possibly can to help because the car industry in this country is very very important not just in direct manufacture plants but also in the supply chain."

Car production declined again last month, but the rate of the decrease was buffered by the Government's "cash for bangers" car-scrappage scheme.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said 107,635 cars in total were manufactured in the UK in July 2009, which implies a fall of 17.9% on figures from July 2008.

A decision on Vauxhall's future is expected to be made early next week after months of uncertainty for the giant owned by General Motors.

Meanwhile, Lord Mandelson has been working with GM to help save British jobs. The German government, however, is keen on a joint bid from Canadian car parts maker Magna and Russian bank Sberbank, with finance of almost £4 billion.

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