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Car industry tanks but List remains upbeat

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The Times reports March is normally the busiest time for the car industry because of changes in registration plates. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is now calling for measures in the Budget to prop up the industry.

Front-line car companies aren’t the only ones being hurt by the sector’s demise.

Terry List, the founder of multi-disciplinary engineering firm The List Group, says he’s had to shed dozens of staff from the £22m-turnover company’s recruitment division because of exposure to the auto industry.

However, he’s upbeat about the future: “In the motor industry, our main competitor has gone to the wall and one of our clients, who we’ve still got business with but on a much-reduced scale, has told us we’ll be used as a sole supplier once things come back.”

Meanwhile, the European Investment Bank has approved loans to UK-based carmakers Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan.

CBI deputy director-general John Cridland says: "These loans are a great piece of news for the UK car industry, which is currently suffering a sharp and ongoing slump in demand. Car firms in the UK are among the most efficient in the world, and have the capacity to be significant makers of more fuel efficient cars.

"We hope the UK government will also help by introducing a short-term scrappage scheme that rewards consumers who replace their older, less efficient cars with newer, more efficient models."

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