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Disabled drivers’ needs must be taken on board

Europe’s motor industry has been challenged to do more to recognise and meet the needs of the growing number of older and disabled motorists.

Delegates at the European Mobility Debate heard that there are 50 million disabled people in Europe today, and this number will increase with an ageing population. That population will have considerable buying power in the motoring and other consumer sectors.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, said that there was “a real disconnect in the UK between manufacturers and converters and adapters” and suggested a need for a “more business-like relationship” between the two.

Motability, a partner in the debate, wants better understanding in the industry that older and disabled people represent a key and growing market segment whose needs must be taken on board at the earliest design stage.

Improved communication is needed between the motor industry and the adaptation and conversion industries so that there is greater technical support in converting and adapting vehicles to meet disabled people’s needs.

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