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Vauxhall chief calls for simpler rules

Vauxhall chairman Kevin Wale is calling on the Government and European Union to simplify its rules and regulations to allow British carmakers to compete on an international stage.

Wale told business leaders at the Confederation of British Industry in Birmingham that the UK has laid the foundation for the best financial and legal structures in the world – but warned that these regulations are too complex.

“Our strategies have been further complicated by the evolution of the European Union,” says Wale. “This has added another set of rules and regulations on top of our existing complexity.”

Wale says Vauxhall is facing an endless train of new regulations including the End of Life Vehicles legislation, restrictions on use of temporary workers, tough data protection rules and new car orders to validate competitive pricing.

“There are also the ones which come from the infamous 'straight banana' example but which do have an affect on our working lives,” he comments, adding that Vauxhall's international competitors are acting to rid themselves of regulatory burdens. For example, Shanghai has set up a free trade zone to support the General Motors joint venture in China. “The zone has allowed GM to cut through the red tape and complete our distribution warehouse project from concept to licenses in a record six months,” says Wale.

He adds: “If we are to succeed, we need to find a way through the maze. We cannot afford to have our best skills tied up working through regulations when they need to be focused on adding value so we can compete on a world stage.”

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