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Industry meets with Mandelson over car industry support

Paul Everitt, chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, has told Lord Mandelson today the support package he announced for the UK car industry did not do enough to stimulate demand and ease consumer credit.

The SMMT acknowledged the positive steps set out in Mandelson’s speech like the £2.3 billion in guaranteed loans which was set out for carmakers and suppliers.

Everitt said: “It was a serious and constructive meeting underlining the strategic importance of the UK motor industry.

“We emphasised the lack of specific proposals to stimulate demand in the market and ease consumer credit, but have agreed to meet officials later this week to discuss technical issues holding up the ability of vehicle financing arms to get access to Bank of England funding.

“In addition, we will have further discussions on measures to stimulate consumer demand, including reviewing action and planned action in other EU member states.”

The Retail Motor Industry Federation has also spoken with Mandelson aides and tried to reinforce the size and strategic importance of the retail sector in relation to the whole motor industry.

Sue Robinson, trade associations director at the RMIF, said: "It's the dealers that face the consumer, and are the point of contact for credit and car buying. Overall, this investment in the industry should send the right message to consumers, endorsing the availability of credit and the excellent deals in the showroom."

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