» Thursday, December 18, 2008

Car Industry

Asked for some clarity on whether there would be any kind of rescue package for the car industry, the PMS said that Lord Mandelson had had discussions with the owners and management of Jaguar Land Rover. He had been clear that the Government did not have an open chequebook to bail out ailing companies and we would look to the Indian owners, Tata in the first instance to ensure the survival of Jaguar Land Rover.

Put that it wasn’t just about Jaguar, the PMS replied that as he had said previously, the Government had had a meeting with car manufacturers about a fortnight ago where proposals were put forward and BERR were still considering those proposals. Asked if there was a split between the Treasury on one side who were not in favour of helping the car industry and BERR on the other who were in favour, the PMS said that the Government acted as one on these issues.

Asked if the discussions were about existing help or were new funds being talked about, the PMS said that the requirements of different manufacturers varied. The PMS did not want to get into details about a proposed package but he thought they would put forward a range of proposals that touched on a number of different areas. Asked if an announcement was imminent, the PMS said he was not expecting an announcement today.

Asked if the Prime Minister was aware of the sense of urgency, the PMS confirmed that he was. The Prime Minister was aware that the car industry, most recently Jaguar Land Rover, had said that they were under particular strain at the moment. Asked if the Prime Minister was concerned that the process was taking a long time, the PMS replied that what was important was that we took the right decisions not only for individual companies but also for the country as a whole.

Asked if the Prime Minister thought it was strange for the company who had only recently bought Jaguar Land Rover to ask for money, given that they had a huge balance sheet, the PMS replied that that was why we were looking to them and their responsibility in the first instance to ensure the survival of Jaguar Land Rover.

original source.

Briefing took place at 16:45 | Search for related news

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