23 Jun 2024
The voice of the independent garage sector

New P.M: Industry reacts and gets to work on lobbying

The emergence of yet another P.M for the UK in the form of Rishi Sunak, along with a new government team, has led to renewed work across the automotive sector to make sure that the industry has its voice heard at the highest levels, and that the challenges it faces are understood.

Commenting on Rishi Sunak’s appointment as Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister, SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “SMMT congratulates Rishi Sunak on becoming Leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. What we now need is a clear and compelling strategy for growth and stability, one that reassures markets, shores up battered consumer confidence and ensures the UK is seen as investable. As a major investor and employer, the automotive industry can help drive an economic recovery but we sorely need a period of stability and a framework for competitiveness, one that delivers the conditions and regulatory certainty to attract investment, talent and innovation, and not least in the global race to net zero.”

Meanwhile, the IGA has written to the new Secretary of State for Transport Mark Harper in order to highlight the importance of the independent garage sector to the UK’s economy and the current issues facing the industry. IGA Chief Executive Stuart James observed: “Independent garages carry out over 70% of the UK’s service and maintenance work, sitting at the heart of communities and quietly providing key services that keep the UK’s vehicles roadworthy and roads safe. The automotive landscape is rapidly changing, and small garage businesses are facing a number of unique challenges which require the government’s support to ensure that they can afford to remain open, adapt and thrive.”

The NFDA also wrote to Mark Harper, along with Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt, Business Secretary Grant Shapps and Secretary of State for Education Gillian Keegan. A range of issues were covered including disruption to the global supply chain, energy prices, vehicle electrification and the skill shortage. NFDA Chief Executive Sue Robinson observed: “Reaching out to government’s new ministers, highlighting the key issues currently impacting our sector, will give us a head-start in addressing these issues and levelling up our industry.”