The Birmingham Post has launched one of the most important campaigns in its history – to urge the government to acknowledge that the UK automotive industry not only needs, but deserves its financial support.
Jaguar Land Rover is at the centre of the campaign. Jaguar is a vital piece of the UK motor industry. It accounts for fifty percent of all its research and development and supports 75,000 jobs and generates £4billion in exports.
Fears are growing of large job losses in the British motor industry. It has been reported that by Easter there could be approximately 100,000 jobs to go across the industry – in retailing, components and car making. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said the industry supported 850,000 jobs.
JLR is not asking for billions of pounds to be sunk into its coffers, never to be seen again. It needs loans, or loan guarantees of the type that until recently would be labelled ‘routine’, and it will repay them at full commercial rates within 18 months.
The last UK car maker that fell behind the global market in terms of product development was MG Rover, a company too far gone to be helped by the time the government came along with an aid package.
The Birmingham post are urging the government to help out the car industry, without access to credit JLR and others in the automotive industry will run out of fuel to power their operations. The petition is on the Downing Street website at http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/helpjlr