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One in six UK car industry jobs could be lost, warns trade body

The UK car industry’s trade body says one in six jobs are at risk of redundancy without help from the government in restarting production.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said emergency funding, permanent short-time working, business rate holidays, and VAT cuts are needed to stem the flow of job losses.

Showrooms are reopening and production lines are restarting, it said.

But more than 6,000 jobs have been lost in the automotive sector this month.

In common with many manufacturers, carmakers have high fixed costs to pay, such as rent, during a period where sales are sharply down.

And many workers remain furloughed as companies work out how to operate while allowing for social distancing.

“A third of our workforce remains furloughed, and we want those staff coming back to work, not into redundancy,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive.

“Government’s intervention has been unprecedented,” he added. “But

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