Chancellor must address investment, skills, confidence – NFDA

The Spring Budget – likely the last major fiscal event before a General Election – will offer car retailers the chance to lobby the Treasury on what it sees as their priorities.

“This provides a vital opportunity for the Government to listen to the concerns of automotive retailers and outline its vision for the future of the sector,” said Sue Robinson, chief executive of the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) which represents car and commercial retailers.

The NFDA has now submitted its budget proposal to the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, ahead of the 24 January submission deadline, as he prepares his Spring Budget, scheduled for 6 March.

The submission covered an array of areas affecting the automotive industry. Three key factors from NFDA’s submission are:

  • prioritising investment and growth in the UK automotive sector.
  • addressing the skills shortages that the industry is currently facing along with reforming the apprenticeship levy.
  • incentivising consumers and increasing consumer confidence during the transition to electric through price incentives and improving electric charging infrastructure.

Robinson said: “NFDA’s budget proposal has conveyed various issues which are currently affecting the automotive retail sector and the wider automotive industry including issues which were recently flagged by dealerships in our 2024 outlook survey.

“As the automotive sector continues to navigate its way through increasingly challenging times, the Government needs to ensure that facilitating investment in the economy and the automotive retail sector are a top priority. Likewise, the automotive sector has invested heavily during the transition to electric.

“NFDA urges HM Treasury to support the automotive sector’s efforts to achieving the Government’s net-zero targets which the UK will need to unlock decades of growth in cleaner road transport.”

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