The chief executive of General Motors’ British operations says the company is looking to bring a significant proportion of its parts sourcing back to the UK from overseas.
Speaking to BBC Wales, Bill Parfitt, who chairs the supply chain group of the Automotive Council, says Vauxhall’s will be looking to increase its spend in the UK to £1.5bn over the next two to three years and potentially as much as £5bn in the longer term.
“It is our intention to bring as much as we can back to the UK,” he said, revealing that the company has increased its spend with UK suppliers by £200m in the last year alone.
General Motors has one plant in Ellesmere Port on Merseyside and another in Luton and Parfitt says the fromer stands a good chance of becoming the European production base for Vauxhall’s new electric model, the Ampera E-Rev.
“They will be imported from America initially but then of course as and when they take a hold, and they will, the UK will be the largest single market for this vehicle across Europe, so consequently, if we make second generation Ampera in Europe… Ellesmere Port stands right in the front- ready, willing and able,” he said.
“It’s a model of efficiency, quality and reliability so I think Ellesmere Port stands a very good chance but it will be a commercial decision and we will have to pitch for it alongside other plants.”
Born in Newport, Parfitt also said he’d like to see Wales return to its days of being a dominant automotive supply base.
The country “is in good shape,” he said. “My personal intention (is) to bring as much as I can back to Wales.”