Flat Start for Car Market but Auto Industry Still Upbeat About Future
John Leech, UK Head of Automotive at KPMG, comments on the SMMT new car registration figures for February:
“Ahead of the forthcoming plate-change, fewer new cars were sold in the UK in February 2012 (year-on-year) which suggests that the UK economic picture remains somewhat uncertain and is making dealers more cautious than usual before taking investment decisions in staff and facilities.
“However, Nissan’s announcement to build a new compact model, called the ‘Invitation’, at its Sunderland factory is very encouraging news for the industry and should lift business and consumer confidence in the UK.
“Looking ahead, both the car industry and consumers will be watching eagerly for good news in this month’s Budget announcement to help bolster UK’s manufacturing base through supportive incentives that are geared to support job creation, with limited red-tape, so that the benefits are not lost in a muddle of administrative costs for manufacturers.
“The Chancellor should also take a close look at business rates, where caps on rises or even better a freeze would be welcomed by businesses in the manufacturing industry.”