Warning UK car industry under threat without help

2 months ago 10

Car works  accumulation   enactment     from supra  successful  the North of EnglandImage source, Getty Images

By Michael Race

Business reporter, BBC News

The UK's car manufacture could vanish unless the UK follows the US and EU to assistance with the modulation to electric, a seasoned of the assemblage has warned.

It was "probable" car firms would permission the UK without a immense subsidy bundle akin to the billions successful assistance the US is providing, Andy Palmer said.

The assemblage is facing the "last propulsion of the dice", said Mr Palmer, who has had elder jobs astatine Nissan and Aston Martin.

The chancellor has said the UK volition not spell "toe-to-toe" with the US and EU.

Jeremy Hunt told the Times paper that the UK's attack to pull concern would beryllium "better".

Mr Palmer is present president of electrical artillery steadfast Inno-bat, but has antecedently worked arsenic main operating serviceman astatine Nissan, erstwhile main enforcement of Aston Martin.

He told the BBC's Today programme that said the UK was "managing decline" successful its car-making industry, but had a "last opportunity" to boost the assemblage and jobs successful the determination to electrical vehicles.

However, helium warned immense subsidy packages were needed for UK-based companies, akin to specified schemes announced successful the US and being consulted connected presently by the EU>

If specified schemes are not created, Mr Palmer said it was "not lone possible, it's probable" that the car manufacturers presently based successful the UK would permission and spell elsewhere.

"You are into a play of either you compete... oregon you negociate the diminution of the British manufacture down to fundamentally adjacent to zero," helium said.

"We person the past propulsion of the dice successful bid to bring backmost immoderate portion of that industry, if we don't past we person to look for alternate employments for the 820,000 people."

Different approach

The informing comes aft the US announced the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which offers billions of dollars successful subsidies and taxation credits to US businesses producing greener technologies, including electrical vehicles, renewable energy and sustainable aviation fuel.

The EU has responded with plans for a Net Zero Industry Act to summation its subsidies for greenish industry.

Mr Hunt said the UK would not spell toe-to-toe with its allies and get progressive what helium called "some distortive planetary subsidy race".

"Our attack volition beryllium antithetic - and better," Mr Hunt said.

The fig of caller cars made successful the UK sunk to its lowest level for 66 years successful January, with firms informing the state was not doing capable to pull manufacturers and was lagging behind, peculiarly connected offering authorities assistance to companies.

Figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers said the 10% driblet was the worst show since 1956.

The US's determination already has vocal critics successful the UK government, with Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch describing it arsenic "protectionist" and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps stating it was "dangerous".

Some fearfulness it gives the US an unfair competitory advantage, and that it is an effort to lure high-tech manufacturing companies to the US.

"With the menace of protectionism creeping its mode backmost into the satellite economy, the semipermanent solution is not subsidy but security," Mr Hunt said.

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