Government is doing all it can to support the car industry helping it to adapt and survive so it can emerge stronger and better able to deal with future challenges, Business Minister Ian Lucas said today (21st September).
Mr Lucas made the comments as he published the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) response to the Business & Enterprise Select Committee’s report, ‘The Automotive Industry in the UK’.
Government has already taken substantial action to support the UK car industry and last week made the first loan from the Automotive Assistance Programme (AAP). Tata Motors TMETC has been given a £10 million loan to support the development and manufacture of electric vehicles in the UK.
Business Minister Ian Lucas said:
“These are tough times for the car industry and because it is one of the key sectors of our economy we must support it now and in the future.
“We have acted to support it in the short term through £300m support for the scrappage scheme, so far helping over 200,000 people to order a car now instead of waiting, and I have heard direct from the industry that it has benefitted enormously from the scheme.
“Our assistance does not stop there. It’s not just about what we can do in the short term. We must invest in the future. That’s why in addition to the AAP, we are helping the car industry to take advantage of the opportunities that moving to low carbon present. We have already set aside £250 million for consumer incentives and infrastructure and we will continue to support low carbon car development.”
Ministers continue to consider a number of other bids for assistance from the programme’s budget to help the industry meet consumer demand, protect it from the down turn and help it to become a world leader in low carbon cars. There are already on going negotiations with companies to fund projects with a total value of £2bn. The Government is also considering applications to the scheme that are below the £5m project limit in order to extend support to smaller companies in the supply chain.