£61m daily cost of showroom closures | Industry - Car News May 2020

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23:02 Monday 25 May 2020

The Government’s decision to keep new car showrooms shut is costing the economy a whopping £61million per DAY.

Detailed calculations by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) have revealed the true cost of mothballing the nation’s near-5,000 network of new car showrooms.  The loss of VAT and Vehicle Excise Duty on new car sales is hitting the Treasury in the pocket, along with the cost of furloughing the motor retail sector’s 590,000 workers.

The coronavirus-enforced closure of motor vehicle retailers resulted in a catastrophic -97.3% slump in the market last month, and the industry is now calling on the Government to acknowledge the motor vehicle retail sector’s importance in kickstarting the battered economy.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, “Government measures to support the critical automotive industry during the crisis have provided an essential lifeline, and the sector is now ready to return to work to help the UK rebuild. Car showrooms, just like garden centres, are spacious and can accommodate social distancing easily, making them some of the UK’s safest retail premises. Allowing dealers to get back to business will help stimulate consumer confidence and unlock recovery of the wider industry, boosting tax revenue and reducing the burden on government spending. Unlike many other retail sectors, car sales act as the engine for manufacturing and reopening showrooms is an easy and relatively safe next step to help get the economy restarted. With every day of closure another day of lost income for the industry and Treasury, we see no reason for delay.”


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