JLR boss urges gov to make haste

Posted on 6 Feb 2009 by The Manufacturer

Government must fast-track the recently announced automotive loan guarantees if they are to have any positive bearing on the industry, was the message from Jaguar Land Rover chief David Smith, speaking at the Confederation of British Industry’s annual manufacturing dinner last night.

Attendees, including The Manufacturer, also heard speeches from business secretary Lord Peter Mandelson, Andy Reynolds-Smith of GKN, and Richard Lambert, director general of the CBI.

Mandelson said that due to the global nature of the manufacturing industry it is inevitable that it will have to “bear the brunt” of the recession. He went onto warn of the dangers of global protectionism, saying British manufacturers have “everything to lose” by adopting the strategy.

In his defence of recent government fiscal stimulation, he said: “I know there is a lot of anger in the real economy at the claim of the banks on state assistance and the scale of the hole the taxpayer has been required to mend in the banking system. But the reality is that without the machinery of credit, there would be no functioning economy at all. Unless we fix the banks, we will not properly fix anything else.

“Politics too often demands quick fixes,” he added. “Government, though, deals in complex reality.”

Mandelson’s and Smith’s speeches will be posted in full on themanufacturer.com.