British car industry demands action

  • Chancellor urged to get involved
  • Government aid is too slow in coming, says SMMT
  • Car makers want to access banks' liquidity funds
British car makers have urged Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling to accelerate aid for the industry.

In a letter to the Chancellor, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) outlined the 'unprecedented set of commercial challenges as a consequence of the global financial crisis and the credit crunch'.

The SMMT said it welcomed support measures announced by Business Secretary Lord Mandelson last month, but added that 'progress is slow and more needs to happen, because time is running out if these measures are to have any desired effect'.

SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt wrote in the letter: 'I urge you to become directly involved in accelerating the current processes.'

In a meeting later this week, the SMMT is due to press the Bank of England on how car companies' finance arms can access liquidity schemes that have been set up to support banks.

The SMMT says such a move would stimulate car buying by consumers and businesses, both of which are struggling to gain credit from other sources.

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