Industry responds to Labour victory

The automotive sector has been responding to the Labour Party’s resounding victory at the UK General Election, and urged it to take a number of immediate steps now it is in government.

These include tackling the pothole crisis, reducing the cost of fuel at the pumps, the ongoing skills crisis, and moving to greener transport.


In a statement, the IMI said: “The Institute of the Motor Industry welcomes the opportunity to engage with the new government. The Labour party clearly identified its understanding of the importance of skills for UK infrastructure in its manifesto; it was also the only party with a dedicated automotive policy which recognised the contribution the motor industry will play in achieving net zero goals.

“With a stated plan to allocate £1.5bn to new gigafactories, as well as restoring the phase-out date of 2030 for new cars with internal combustion engines, clearly there is no time to lose in addressing the current challenges around further education and apprenticeships, as well as uplifting skills in the sector.

“The IMI will therefore aim to work closely with the relevant ministers as they are appointed, as well as the departments that will influence future education, skills and automotive policies, representing the interests of its members and the wider road using public to ensure UK automotive remains a global leader.”


Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “We congratulate Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party on their election success. The new government’s commitment to an industrial strategy and its already published Automotive Sector Plan can boost manufacturing competitiveness, enhance trade relations and support consumers.

“The industry is fundamental to the achievement of net zero which, with the right conditions, will deliver the growth the economy needs. We now look to continue our productive partnership with government to ensure the long-term success of the sector and all those who depend on it for their mobility, services and livelihoods.


The Independent Garage Association (IGA) said: “We look forward to engaging with Sir Keir Starmer and his team to support the independent garage sector. As we move forward, the IGA is eager to discuss with the Labour government the strategic actions and policies that will support and enhance our industry.

“Key areas of focus include attracting new talent and addressing the unique challenges faced by the automotive industry in terms of apprenticeships. The sustainability and growth of the independent garage sector depend on the ability of the sector to attract and retain skilled professionals.

“As the industry evolves with new innovations, it is essential for independent garages to adopt these technologies to meet the growing demand for the repair and maintenance of zero-emission vehicles. We are eager for initiatives that provide garages with the tools and knowledge needed to embrace these advancements, in line with the government’s zero-emission vehicle mandate.

“The IGA is committed to working collaboratively with the Labour government to address these critical issues. Through partnership and open dialogue, we aim to achieve significant advancements for the independent garage sector.”


RAC head of policy Simon Williams said:

“Top of the list for the new government has to be the thorny issue of fixing Britain’s broken roads, and the roads funding hole will be even bigger if the previous government’s commitment to spend £8.3bn from the cancelled northern leg of HS2 on improving roads isn’t honoured.

“Also, the recently legislated Pumpwatch fuel price monitoring scheme must be introduced quickly to give drivers a fairer deal on the forecourt and the official government Private Parking Code of Practice finally needs to be pushed over the line after five years of delays.

“We look forward to working constructively with the new government on all the major issues affecting the nation’s drivers.”

Auto Trader

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said: “All too often in the recent past, we’ve seen short-term political advantage prioritised at the expense of the serious long-term decision-making the country needs to meet net zero goals. Given the size of their mandate, we’d like to see Labour do more to support the transition to greener vehicles. That means protecting the existing salary sacrifice and BIK incentives to support the new electric car market, and targeted financial incentives on used electric cars to support greater adoption.

“We also need to be proactive and transparent about future changes in road pricing and taxes for electric cars so consumers can plan accordingly, as well as supporting the industry to install more chargers by speeding up planning and encouraging more creative ways to charge EVs near people’s homes.”