Mitsubishi Is Exiting British And European Markets

One In Six UK-Based Automotive Jobs Are At Risk

Mitsubishi Is Exiting British And European Markets

Senior figures from the UK’s automotive industry have suggested that one in six jobs are at risk in the aftermath of coronavirus…

An Automotive Industry In Disarray 

One in six UK-based automotive jobs are at risk as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, according to industry insiders, it’ll take five years for the sector to fully recover. According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which represents over 800 manufacturers, the crisis has cost the industry around £35.5 billion. In addition, it believes production won’t reach pre-pandemic levels until at least 2025.

With 6,000 jobs already having been lost, the organisation is now calling on the government to introduce a comprehensive coronavirus support package. In particular, it wants “unfettered access to emergency funding”, incentive schemes to boost consumer confidence and reduced business rates and VAT.

Winding Back Lockdown Measures

Car dealerships reopened, at least partially, in England at the start of June. Their Welsh equivalents are just starting to resume operations and those in Scotland will follow sometime next month. Manufacturers started reopening their plants back in May, albeit with skeleton staff. Many others have announced, however, that they won’t reopen until September.

According to the SMMT, a combination of reduced demand and lingering social distancing measures are slowing down any potential recovery. In their place, it’s suggested that the government implement what it calls “permanent short-time working”. In theory, they claim, it would help to avoid further redundancies by reducing working hours and salaries. However, it accepts that this would require a national industry agreement; as the concept is only permitted under specific circumstances, or if  it’s specifically stipulated in contractual agreements.

Mike Hawes, chief executive of the SMMT, said “covid has consumed every inch of capability and capacity; and the industry has not the resource, the time nor the clarity to prepare for a further shock of a hard Brexit”. He added, “that’s why we do need to ‘turbo charge’ the negotiations to secure a comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU; that maintains tariff and quota free trade. With such a deal, a strong recovery is possible. We can safeguard the industry and our reputation as an attractive destination for foreign investment and a major trade player”.

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