Carmakers confident UK gov’t loans to be retained

* Carmakers’ loans under threat as UK looks to cut deficit

* GM says UK manufacturing sector deserves gov’t support

* Nissan says UK to support green technology initiatives

LONDON, May 18 (BestGrowthStock) – The UK units of General Motors
[GM.UL] and Nissan Motor Co (7201.T: ) are confident Britain’s new
coalition government will keep millions of pounds of loans in
place to support carmakers, despite imminent spending cuts.

“As the new government coalition moves into Parliament,
former spending commitments will be investigated in light of the
new government’s policies and priorities,” General Motors said
in a statement sent to Reuters on Tuesday.

“We are confident that manufacturing in the UK is a sector
seen as making a valuable contribution to the UK and deserves
government support.”

The centre-right Conservatives have forged a coalition with
the Liberal Democrats after ending 13 years of Labour rule in
the May 6 election.

The previous Labour government signed off a 270 million
pound ($390 million) loan guarantee in support of GM’s
Opel/Vauxhall turnaround and 20 million pounds for Nissan to
support capacity adjustments and investment into new low-carbon
products.

“It is our understanding that an agreement has been made
with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and
that the new coalition government is fully supportive of
progressing a greener economy and zero emission transport will
be at the heart of that,” a Nissan UK spokeswoman said.

Ford UK, which received a significant loan guarantee from
the previous Labour government, declined to comment when
contacted by Reuters.

The review forms part of the new coalition’s plan to cut
unnecessary expenditure commitments to start paying down
Britain’s 163 billion pound budget deficit.

Britain’s Times newspaper on Tuesday reported that the loans
would be reviewed this week by David Laws, the chief secretary
to the Treasury, to see if they represent value for money.

The report added that Laws would also seek advice from
government lawyers as to whether the government can renege on
Labour’s promises.

A Treasury spokesman was not immediately available to
comment.
($1=.6918 Pound)
(Reporting by Rhys Jones; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

Carmakers confident UK gov’t loans to be retained