The boss of Vauxhall has warned that the future of car manufacturing in the UK could be in danger due to a shortage of British-based part suppliers.
Nick Reilly, chief executive of General Motors in Europe, described the lack of home-based component makers as the most critical issue facing the industry.
Mr Reilly told the BBC that UK-based car manufacturers, such as Nissan and Toyota, are finding it difficult to compete because they have to import many vehicle components.
He said: "Our biggest issue is lack of suppliers in the UK. In the 70s to 90s we gave up a lot of business. What it means is that at Luton (Vauxhall factory) we import a lot of components.
"If we don't have a decent amount of local suppliers it makes this place more difficult to be competitive.
"Frankly, I think it's the most critical issue facing the automotive industry in the UK.
"It's not enough to have Nissan, Toyota, Vauxhall manufacturing the products because we'll never be able to compete with another country where the suppliers are surrounding the car plants."
General Motors, which suffered during the recession, is now majority controlled by the US and Canadian governments.
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