Ford chief calls for extension to VAT cut as Covid-19 hits industry hard

 Thu, 4th Mar, 2021

THE Government should extend the current VAT reduction until the end of March to help lessen the blow of the lockdown on the motor industry, according to Ford Ireland chief John Manning.

Anything that will help lower the impact of not being fully open for business is to be welcomed, and Mr Manning’s message is timely.

It is up to the government now to do all it can on that front.

January, as you know, is always the busiest month for new car sales. However, the current Covid-19 restrictions will seriously restrict business for dealers, perhaps into February, Mr Manning said.

“It will be really tough on our business as new car sales will now be much lower than what they would be for a ‘normal’ January. We will be limited to providing new vehicles to customers within the guidelines of ‘click and collect’ services,” he said.

However, he’s hopeful of a quick rebound when the new restrictions are lifted.

“My hope is February can be as buoyant as a ‘traditional’ January in the new car sector if the conditions are such that businesses can reopen at the end of January,” he said.

With that in mind, he’s calling on the Government to extend the current VAT reduction to the end of March.

“In this very tough environment, we need all the help we can get.”