Car sector seeks more UK government support as output tumbles

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New cars are seen waiting for transport at the docks in Grimsby

LONDON (Reuters) – British minister Rishi Sunak should use next week’s budget statement to help boost the car industry’s competitiveness, a industry body said on Friday, as production tumbled to its lowest January level since 2009.

Sunak is due to detail how he will further support the amid COVID-19 on March 3.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the furlough scheme that protects jobs should be extended, more support for training was needed and manufacturing should be encouraged through reform of the rates tax.

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“Next week’s budget is the chancellor’s (finance minister) opportunity to boost the industry by introducing measures that will support competitiveness, jobs and livelihoods,” SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said.

“We need to secure our medium to long-term future by creating the conditions that will attract battery gigafactory investment and transform the chain.”

in January fell by 27% year-on-year to 86,052 vehicles, hit by factors including dealership closures during a latest COVID-19 lockdown, international supply chain problems and the change in trading terms with the .

Source: Investing.com

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