Examination of Witnesses (Questions 320
THURSDAY 11 JANUARY 2001
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
(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
(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
(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
339. But there is still a prospect that some
of it might go to Ellesmere Port?
(Mr Reilly) There is.