Ford in Bridgend - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:24 pm on 10th June 2019.

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Photo of Lord Howell of Guildford Lord Howell of Guildford Chair, International Relations Committee 6:24 pm, 10th June 2019

My Lords, this is obviously a miserable affair. The Statement mentioned China. Is it not a fact that the entire worldwide motor industry is now in a state of turmoil with the rise of Asia? China has not yet even begun its impact on world car markets, but it will be massive when it comes. On top of that, there are the changes in technology, with the move to electric vehicles. The war on diesel clearly has not helped and nor, frankly, has Brexit. Otherwise, why would the motor industry have cut its output in the past month by 24%? That is a devastating impact.

One understands all that, but is not the time coming when we should have a strategic overview on all those problems? We have had Honda, JLR, the Nissan problem with Renault and the question of their future production here. Now, we have Ford. We are not just talking about motor manufacture but every conceivable component of a vast industry employing 822,000 people in all. Surely the time has come for a really strategic insight into how this kind of transport will develop here and how we fit into the world of rising China, America and Latin America, all of which will be in the motor manufacturing business and the transport business on a colossal scale. We have not seen anything yet.