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NFDA political engagement continues at party conferences

NFDA 07/10/2021

Representatives from the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) have attended the Labour and Tory Party Conferences to highlight franchised dealers’ priorities to elected officials.

The Labour and Tory Party Conferences took place respectively in Brighton and Manchester over the past two weeks. The events provided NFDA with an ideal opportunity to meet with key industry figures and organisations, as well as a number of MPs.

At the Conservative Party Conference, NFDA held a constructive meeting with the Minister for International Trade, Ranil Jayawardena MP. As a result of discussions focusing on the importance of franchised dealers’ businesses, the MP agreed a visit to a dealership would be extremely beneficial, continuing the ‘Parliamentary Engagement Programme’ which NFDA has been running since 2017. The programme connects MPs with franchised dealers to raise awareness of the contributions the retail side of the automotive industry makes to the local and national economy.

Other issues emphasised by NFDA included the challenges facing dealers during the transition from internal combustion engine to electric vehicles, the value of franchised dealers’ investments, and the significantly high numbers of people working in the automotive retail industry.

At the Labour Party Conference, NFDA met with Hilary Benn MP.  While presenting the challenges and opportunities facing the automotive sector, NFDA highlighted that as the industry keeps working hard to decarbonise private transport, it is important that policymakers ensure that those on lower incomes are not left behind.

Sue Robinson, NFDA Chief Executive, commented: “This year’s Party Conferences provided an excellent opportunity to engage with parliamentarians on behalf of the retail side of the automotive industry.

“In particular, we discussed the implications of the microchip shortage on automotive retailers and the levels of investments franchised dealers have been making both in terms of physical infrastructure as well as creating green jobs.

“As the economy recovers, one of NFDA’s primary focuses is the ongoing lobbying on behalf of franchised dealers. We have further meetings arranged with Parliamentarians in the coming weeks and we will keep our members updated”.

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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.