Local MP Dame Nia Griffith was very impressed to see the state-of-the-art technology on her recent visit to the Gestamp car component plant in Felinfoel, Llanelli.
After a hard-hitting presentation, highlighting the company’s extensive global reach and the challenges currently facing the automotive sector worldwide, Llanelli’s MP toured the shop floor with plant director Andrew Whiles and Gestamp’s Manager of Corporate Diplomacy and European Affairs, Esteban Garcia de Motiloa.
Commenting on the visit, Nia Griffith said,
“You can see the huge difference that Gestamp has made in the 12 years since they took over the plant, with cutting edge technology and a committed workforce, developing the products of the future and offering great opportunities for our young people.”
“When we think of electric vehicles, we tend to focus mainly on the huge batteries, and we are often unaware of the vital contribution of the development of the tougher, lighter bodywork parts manufactured here in Llanelli, which contribute so much to the safety and energy efficiency of vehicles. All this has been made possible by the very substantial investment by Gestamp in the factory, including the hot stamping line and laser cutting technology. Gestamp has here a factory and a workforce that Llanelli, and indeed the UK, can really be proud of, producing components for some of the best-known car companies in the world.”
“But this is a critical time for investment decisions in the automotive industry, as companies decide where to site their new production lines. The United States Inflation Reduction Act is a game changer in providing incentives for companies to invest in green technologies across the Atlantic, and similar moves by major European countries pose real challenges for the UK. We urgently need the UK Government to step in with similar packages to make the UK the destination of choice for firms like Gestamp to invest in the new green technologies and retain a viable automotive sector.”
“And that’s before we even come to energy prices, which are much higher in the UK than elsewhere, and have a significant impact on the ability of our manufacturing industry to compete. It’s high time for an accelerated drive to renewables and reform of the energy market.”