Robertson said the adoption of new technology was an opportunity to expand local sourcing ©Uwe Fischer/BMW
Robertson said the adoption of new technology was an opportunity to expand local sourcing ©Uwe Fischer/BMW

Electric cars create ‘chances’ for UK supply chain

23 May 2018

The development of electric vehicles will create an opportunity for the UK automotive supply chain to develop, a BMW executive has said.

Ian Robertson, a member of the board of management for BMW AG, said the UK had not kept pace with the “resurgence” the automotive industry has seen over the last decade.

But the demand for new technologies and components created by electric vehicles would create “chances” for the UK's automotive supply chain to catch up.

He added the adoption new technology was an opportunity to expand the number of parts sourced locally.

Giving evidence to the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) select committee, he said: “Many of the things that this country used to do are no longer done here. There are some exceptions, but even those OEMs bring a lot of their components in from European or global supply base.

“[But] a change in technology and a change in the position of the vehicle does bring some chances to continue the growth of the industry here when there will be new components or new types of components being required.

“That is something where the improvement in the existing volume of local parts can go up.”

However, Robertson said achieving the industry target of using 50% local suppliers was still going to be “extremely challenging”.

The BEIS committee was taking evidence as part of its review of the government’s plans to phase out petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

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