Company car tax among SMMT concerns

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has outlined its concerns for the future of the automobile industry, highlighting taxes on certain company cars as an issue that requires focus.

According to the society, the tax penalty on drivers who choose environmentally-friendly diesel vehicles as a company car is unfair and should be brought to an end.

"This obsolete three per cent surcharge, not applied to drivers of petrol models, is totally at odds with government policy to encourage the take up of cars with a lower carbon footprint," the SMMT said. "It must be scrapped now."

The organisation also issued a warning to the government regarding manufacturers and component suppliers, saying that they are "treading water" and are under threat from cost pressures and emerging markets.

Christopher Macgowan, chief executive of the SMMT, said that small and medium-sized suppliers are at "greatest risk".

The society also commented on vehicle excise duty, warning against a "knee-jerk" move to make big changes to road tax on higher-emitting cars, pointing out that many motorists with large families or business users need bigger vehicles.

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