Select Committee on Trade and Industry Minutes of Evidence


Examination of Witnesses (Questions 320 - 339)

THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2001

MR NICK REILLY AND MR BRUCE WARMAN

  330. No decision in principle has been taken. Is it not actually a bit of a smokescreen because you are holding this up as a possibility but you have said you are cutting production in Russelsheim in half, particularly given the doomed Omega programme? Is not the reality that it is almost inevitable that if there is going to be any expansion of the new Vectra production it will take place in Russelsheim?
  (Mr Reilly) No, that is not inevitable.

  331. Why not? Would it not be much more economical to do so? What factors would induce you to go elsewhere?
  (Mr Reilly) Because, as I indicated earlier, the decision was taken to down-size Russelsheim substantially.

  332. That is going to give you massive spare capacity.
  (Mr Reilly) No, it is to take capacity out because we have too much capacity across the company.

  333. Permanently and irrevocably you are taking out capacity?
  (Mr Reilly) Yes.

  334. So you could not re-expand it there again?
  (Mr Reilly) No, the buildings are being knocked down.

  335. And the land sold off?
  (Mr Reilly) Correct.

  336. Is that what you are going to do here? Are you going to sell off the land here or are you going to mothball it?
  (Mr Reilly) There is no point in us mothballing the facility. I would hope we can first work with the local authorities and the Regional Development Authority to understand who is trying to come to this area, particularly in a manufacturing sense, because obviously the plant is suitable for that, and beyond that to find out what other uses there may be.

  337. So you have said there is still some possibility, although you have not taken the decision in principle, to build the Vectra in part as a sort of flex-project in the UK?
  (Mr Reilly) That is a possibility and that is what we are working on.

  338. Would it not be actually easier to do it in Antwerp, for example?
  (Mr Reilly) There are pros and cons with that, yes; in some ways, yes, but in some ways, no. We are actually working on that right now and the decision has to be taken in the relatively near future.

  339. But there is still a prospect that some of it might go to Ellesmere Port?
  (Mr Reilly) There is.


 
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