Motor-industry bosses beg for help

Pleas to the Government to scrap planned increases in vehicle excise duty have been made by motor industry bosses faced with plunging car sales as the credit crunch worsens.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMIF) have also called for initiatives to stimulate the market.

They include allowing manufacturers' finance companies access to the Government funding available to banks through the special cash bail-out arrangements.

National arrangements are also sought to allow manufacturers and suppliers access to loan facilities, including potential government guarantees, to maintain liquidity and investment.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt said: "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. 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."

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