AM Online

The Big Picture: Budget is vital for the industry

As one of the phenomenons of the crisis impacting our industry and that of the wider economic meltdown, the decision to cancel next year’s British International Motor Show was one of the least surpising or significant.

To have persisted with an event designed to showcase the achievements of the UK motor industry would have appeared a ghastly fraud with carmakers – like so many modern day emperors – counting while their Rome burned around them.

With so many problems besetting our industry the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is to be commended for taking the decision to cancel.

It claims, after all, the industry is in “a state of emergency”. GM’s protracted crisis only exacerbates the situation.

AM will in its April 17th issue include a special feature on the expectations for the April 22 Budget.

A look at the areas of potential impact provide considerable food for thought: scrappage, of course, will lead the expectations of many.

Most industry watchers say we will hear in the Budget whether the UK is to have a scrappage scheme.

Other areas of concern include changes to VED refunds which could cost the industry £70-80 million a year, the proposed 2010/2011 introduction of a first year rate of tax on new cars, increases to DVLA first registration fees, fuel prices and taxation, benefit-in-kind on dealer demonstrators and rate relief on empty buildings.

The issues at hand are enough to cause sleepless nights at the best of times – in the middle of a crisis, the Budget will be critical to the survival of the sector as we know it.

  • Exclusive research by AM reveals dealers are looking to review supplier contracts more often (full details: April 17 issue).

The AM Dealer Business Forum on April 23/24 provides you opportunity to fast-track the selection process, bringing suppliers and customers together for one-to-one meetings.

My experience of such events show them to be valuable to all involved. I hope to see you there.

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