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UK car industry warns 1 in 6 jobs could be lost to coronavirus and Brexit

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The UK car industry has called for a financial support package and warned that 1 in 6 jobs could be lost due to coronavirus.

A third of automotive workers are still furloughed, and more than 6,000 UK automotive job cuts have been announced in June as a result of lockdowns, closed markets and shuttered plants, the SMMT said.

The trade group is calling on the Government to address this with a support package for the entire sector to help drive demand and ease cashflow.

Measures including unfettered access to emergency funding, permanent short-time working, business rate holidays, VAT cuts and policies that boost consumer confidence would accelerate a sustainable restart for the market and manufacturing.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “UK automotive is fundamentally strong. However, the prolonged shutdown has squeezed liquidity and the pressures are becoming more acute as expenditure resumes before invoices are paid.

“A

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UK car industry warns one in six jobs could be lost after COVID-19 crisis

Thousands of unwanted new and used cars at Thurleigh Airfield in Bedfordshire, England. Photo: Chris Gorman/Getty Images
Thousands of unwanted new and used cars at Thurleigh Airfield in Bedfordshire, England. Photo: Chris Gorman/Getty Images

 A third of the automotive industry workforce in the UK is still on furlough after coronavirus lockdowns and a collapse in demand brought the sector to a near-total halt in the past couple of months.

According to a new survey by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), there were more than 6,000 redundancies in the car industry in the month of June — and one in six jobs will remain at risk when the government’s furlough scheme ends in November.

SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes today called on the government for a specific ‘restart package” to safeguard against jobs losses, and help boost recovery for the important industry.

“The prolonged shutdown has squeezed liquidity and the pressures are becoming more acute as expenditure resumes before invoices are paid,” said Hawes in

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One in six UK car industry jobs could be lost, warns trade body

The UK car industry’s trade body says one in six jobs are at risk of redundancy without help from the government in restarting production.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said emergency funding, permanent short-time working, business rate holidays, and VAT cuts are needed to stem the flow of job losses.

Showrooms are reopening and production lines are restarting, it said.

But more than 6,000 jobs have been lost in the automotive sector this month.

In common with many manufacturers, carmakers have high fixed costs to pay, such as rent, during a period where sales are sharply down.

And many workers remain furloughed as companies work out how to operate while allowing for social distancing.

“A third of our workforce remains furloughed, and we want those staff coming back to work, not into redundancy,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“Government’s intervention has been unprecedented,” he added. “But

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