Jeremy Clarkson: “It’s up to us” to buy new cars and help save 400,000 jobs in the motor trade

Jeremy Clarkson: “It’s up to us” to buy new cars and help save 400,000 jobs in the motor trade
Jeremy Clarkson has urged motorists to save the struggling UK car industry by spending their cash on a new motor.

As many as 400,000 jobs could be lost if the sector fails to recover and automotive trade association The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) predicts the slowdown could cost the economy £12.5 billion in manufacturing costs alone.1

The outspoken presenter said: “If we all sit on our hands expecting Boris Johnson to sort everything out, nothing’s going to get sorted out at all. It’s up to us.”

A staggeringly low 4,321 cars were sold in April. That’s 97% less than the same month last year.

Although figures have improved in May – the 20,000 cars leaving showrooms represented an 89% drop from May’s 2019 sales.2

Clarkson added: “Before Covid, the British motor industry provided employment for more than 800,000 people.

“So when you sign on the dotted line for a new set of wheels, you’ll be helping keep them off the dole. And as you feed it, insure it and service it and, in time, take it into the shop for an MoT, you’ll continue to keep the wheels turning.”

Just 197 cars have been made in the UK since the pandemic struck production lines, putting 80,000 of the nation’s 168,000 car manufacturing jobs under threat.3

The Institute for Social and Economic Research also predicts 47.6% of 823,000 jobs linked to the industry could be lost in the coming months.4

McLaren, Aston Martin and Bentley are poised to cut thousands of jobs,  while Vauxhall plans to put thousands more on furlough.

Lookers, one of Britain’s largest car dealerships, plan on axing 1,500 jobs and 12 dealerships.

Baroness McIntosh, a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Motor Group, said: “For every job in the car plant, there are another four reliant on it in the supply chain who have highly-skilled jobs.

“The Government will have to look long and hard on keeping the industry alive once the support of furloughing is taken away. We can’t allow the industry to be running on empty. The sector is vital to the country.”

Experts believe motorists are delaying the purchase of a new car while they wait for the launch of a potential scrappage scheme. 

Manufacturers and dealerships have responded to the pandemic with new hygienic production methods and socially distanced showrooms.

Car dealers have even started slashing the prices on new cars by up to 25% to encourage sales.

Meanwhile, Citroen, Peugeot and Vauxhall have launched an anti-viral valet service to reassure motorists into getting back behind the wheel.

If you’re looking for your next set of wheels, RAC Cars lists over 300,000 new and used options sold from an Approved Dealer network which conducts an 82 point check on every vehicle.

Will you be taking Clarkson’s advice and buying a new car in the near future? Or are you holding out for help on the costs through a scrappage scheme? Let us know in the comments below.


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