A vehicle such as a Jaguar or Land Rover doesn’t come cheap but buyers can be certain of getting the highest quality.
The trouble is, right now doesn’t seem like a good time to be splashing the cash - no matter how good the product is.
And, while some customers may be able to pay for a new vehicle up-front, many rely on credit, either by taking a bank loan or, more likely, taking advantage of offers from the automotive industry itself.
But banks are wary of lending, while finance businesses set up by carmakers such as Jaguar may have cashflow problems of their own, as they depend partly on the banks to supply funding.
It’s no surprise that the automotive industry has been hit hard by the credit crunch and the effects of the recession, with businesses such as Jaguar Land Rover shedding jobs.
Further down the supply chain are thousands of small businesses, who may not make the headlines in quite the same way but find themselves directly affected when production slows at the big manufacturers. But the car industry isn’t finished. In fact, it has a bright future.
Jaguar Land Rover is pioneering the development of new, cleaner technology - proving that luxury cars can be green.
It owns two of the most prestigious brands in the industry, and employs a skilled and dedicated workforce.
Politicians of all parties have rightly recognised that these are exceptional times for the British economy.Businesses may need a level of support from Government which would not be appropriate in normal circumstances.
The car industry, like many other sectors, needs access to credit. Ministers cannot simply force banks to lend, whatever one of two backbenchers in the Commons may hope.
Even though the public has bailed out the nation’s banks, they still need to be allowed to make their own decisions on commercial grounds.
But government can promote confidence and put the banks in a position where they feel more comfortable about lending.
This could mean, for example, guaranteeing or part-guaranteeing some loans.
Following their summit with vehicle manufacturers, Ministers stressed that they understood the need to get credit flowing again quickly.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders expects these welcome comments to be followed swiftly by action. Ministers should ensure this is indeed what happens, for the sake of thousands of jobs across the country.