The UK car industry is facing an economic crisis with a ‘massive and rapid’ loss of customers, according to a report commissioned by the government.
The report, commissioned by Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, found that more than £20bn of car sales could be lost by 2025, with a large number of those in England and Wales.
‘It’s the most dire forecast I’ve seen for the industry for decades’, said Peter Breen, director of the Transport Industry Association, which represents more than 150 car companies.
‘The industry is losing billions of pounds in a market that’s shrinking and the impact on consumers and business will be devastating.
‘People who own cars are paying huge sums of money to get rid of them, and it’s a business that is being transformed by technology.’
The government’s report comes just weeks after a report from the business lobby group Business for the Future (BFTF), which warned that car washing was “losing millions” of jobs across the UK.
The group said the industry would be “sadly losing the ability to retain customers and employ people” by 2025.
BFTF director Simon Jenkins said the UK’s car washing sector had been in “a financial crash for the last four years” and that the government had to act urgently to save the industry.
He said the Government’s proposals would have a devastating impact on car wash jobs, adding that a “sensible approach” would see the industry remain in operation.
“The government must ensure that this industry stays in business in the UK,” he said.
“There are too many opportunities for it to go into the black and there are too few opportunities for businesses to take advantage of them.”
BFTI president Nicky Hagerty told the BBC’s Today programme: “It’s a very big, complicated industry, and we’re seeing a lot of it disappearing, and that’s going to be very sad for a lot people.”
The car industry in the United Kingdom is a vital part of our economy and our society.
We’re really struggling to recover from this.”‘
We don’t have a clue’ The government also wants to help the industry, which employs 1.5 million people across the country, by reducing the amount of time that car wash staff are allowed to work.
It says it will review its policies to ensure that workers are able to spend more time with their families.
However, it will also require car wash owners to pay more in tax and spend more on social care.
‘We don´t have a grasp of the future’ According to the government, the UK is facing “a significant economic crisis” as a result of the “massive and rapidly increasing” decline in the value of the pound.
It has already reduced tax rates for the top 1% of households, while introducing a new “tax-free threshold” of £100,000 for those earning over £100 million.
However the government is “not clear about the extent to which the economic impact of these cuts will outweigh any financial benefit”, it added.
‘Cuts to benefits, benefits to people’ It also announced a £5bn fund to help car owners who cannot afford to pay a deposit to cover their debts, with the money going to the National Minimum Wage scheme.
The government said the fund would help car wash workers to pay off their debts in full, but many people would not be able to pay.
BTFI president Mr Jenkins said: “The minimum wage is a very important support to people who can’t pay their debts.
“A significant number of people will be losing their jobs as a direct result of these tax cuts. “
“It is vital that the Government recognises that there are serious issues facing the car washing business, and work with businesses to make sure the industry is viable for future generations.” “
The government says it wants to reduce the number of hours people spend cleaning cars by 30% and introduce a “pay-as-you-go” scheme for car owners to avoid paying any more. “
It is vital that the Government recognises that there are serious issues facing the car washing business, and work with businesses to make sure the industry is viable for future generations.”
The government says it wants to reduce the number of hours people spend cleaning cars by 30% and introduce a “pay-as-you-go” scheme for car owners to avoid paying any more.
It is also introducing a scheme to help customers pay for a car wash with a new, low-cost car cleaning service.
However Mr Jenkins claimed that while the government was “trying to make people feel good about car washing”, there was still a long way to go in the right direction.
“I’m a big believer in supporting businesses and people to pay for their own car washing, and the government should be supporting car owners,” he added.
Mr Breen also said the government needed to “look at the long-term viability of the industry””
What we need to do is put more money into the pockets of those who need it the most.”
Mr Breen also said the government needed to “look at the long-term viability of the industry”