The UK's auto industry trade association is today meeting the secretary of state for business, Lord Peter 'Mandy' Mandelson, to ask for urgent financial aid for the UK's automotive industry.

The SMMT has called for a national government scheme to mitigate the impact of the downturn on the vehicle industry.

"The motor industry faces a set of unprecedented market conditions. The dramatic fall in demand for new vehicles around the world, combined with the limited availability of funding and liquidity now puts at risk valuable industrial capability. Urgent action is required to boost demand for new vehicles and ease pressure on UK automotive suppliers," said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

The European Commission's economic stimulus plan which was unveiled yesterday contained provisions to provide Europe's auto industry with EUR5bn to be spent on environmental R&D. On top of that it is believed that the European Investment Bank is preparing to make another EUR16bn available to the struggling industry.