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Thursday, July 9, 1998 Published at 15:22 GMT 16:22 UK

Business: The Company File

Vauxhall attacks UK productivity

Vauxhall is the latest car giant to start looking abroad for parts

Another car manufacturer has said that it might have to look abroad for components unless the productivity of its British suppliers improves markedly.

Vauxhall's director of supply, John Gildair: "We will be forced to look elsewhere."
This follows similar warnings earlier this week by the Rover group, owned by BMW.

Rover partly blamed the strength of the pound but Vauxhall's director of supply John Gildair said that suppliers should not hide behind that, but improve their own efficiency.

He said there had been improvements in the late 1980s and early 1990s which had helped the UK catch up with the rest of Europe.

However, more recently UK productivity has deteriorated and was of major concern to carmakers.

[ image: Rover has also threatened to buy parts abroad]
Rover has also threatened to buy parts abroad
"We are not making decisions immediately, but we will certainly be looking elsewhere for suppliers as new models go into production over the next few years," he said at a conference in Sunderland.

Other executives warned that hundreds of jobs in the UK motor industry were at risk because of declining productivity and the decision not to enter European monetary union by 2002.

Executives warned automotive component makers to get their act together or they would not be able to compete with rivals operating in the single currency zone.

Fiat senior vice president Giorgio Bodo said the UK might not be ready to join EMU within the next four years.

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