Government support but no cash for car firms

Car companies can expect no Government cash hand-outs, Business Secretary Vince Cable indicated today.

Government help would be provided by giving the automotive industry "a stable business environment", Mr Cable said.

This would be done by "creating a more supportive tax environment, freeing up credit through the banking system, reducing regulation and focusing on training and apprenticeships", he added.

He was speaking ahead of an address he was making at an international automotive summit in London organised by the UK's society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Earlier this week, in an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Cable said car manufacturers could no longer depend on direct Government financial support.

"We don't want to go around the country waving a cheque book," he said.

Today, before his speech at the summit, Mr Cable said: "The car industry has endured tough times in the last few years but we are now seeing reasons for cautious optimism.

"Low-carbon cars offer opportunities for future business growth and the UK is leading the way with Toyota's plant in Derby this week starting production of the first mass-produced fully hybrid car in Europe and Nissan starting recruitment at their electric battery plant in Sunderland."

He went on: "We want to give the automotive industry a stable business environment to capitalise on further opportunities and we will do this by creating a more supportive tax environment, freeing up credit through the banking system, reducing regulation and focusing on training and apprenticeships."

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