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NFDA urges PM to allow automotive retailers to open

NFDA 22/05/2020

On 18 May, NFDA wrote to the Prime Minister to urge the Government to include automotive retailers in the first wave of non-essential retail reopening and allow the sector to safely restart.

Last week, the United Kingdom’s retail motor industry signalled its readiness to get back to work, with the publication of new sector-specific guidance by the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) and Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) to help ensure all showrooms are safe spaces for employees and customers.

Automotive retail employs 590,000 people and there are over 4,500 franchise outlets in the UK. Turnover from sales of cars is £150 billion annually. Car sales in April fell by 96 per cent and we expect similar results in May.

NFDA urges the Government to include automotive retailers in the first wave of non-essential retail opening and ‘get the country moving again’.

Sue Robinson, NFDA Director, said, “The motor industry and retailers have been making enormous strides to creating a greener fleet of vehicles on the nation’s roads. The Government has set us a challenging target for a ban on petrol and diesel cars by 2035. The longer we remain unable to sell new cars, the harder it will be to hit this target.

“The Government has told people they should avoid public transport and return to work on foot, by bicycle or by car and the majority of the UK population will be relying heavily on cars to get to work, and on vans and trucks to move goods around the country.

“Franchised dealerships provide reliable motor vehicles – cars, vans and commercial vehicles – which are essential for many people to get to work and to undertake their work safely and efficiently. Automotive retailers need to be open to serve the workforce and get the country moving again”.

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About the RMI

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.