HC Deb 27 October 1966 vol 734 cc1290-1
27. Mr. Luard

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many passenger cars were exported in the first nine months of 1966; and how these figures compare with the figures for the same period in 1964 and 1965.

Mr. Mason

The following is the Answer: 440,000, 513,000 and 477,000.

Mr. Luard

Do not these figures show that the motor industry was suffering increasing difficulties in a very important part of its market even before the July measures were introduced? Does not this make it more important to enable the industry to reduce its unit costs and to increase its exports by some relaxation of the restrictions imposed in the home market?

Mr. Mason

My hon. Friend is generally correct. Falls have occurred this year in exports of cars to the Common Market and to the European Free Trade Area, and I indicated earlier in Question Time one reason why they have fallen in respect of E.F.T.A. But sales to North America show a substantial increase.