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GLOBAL companies will be looking to identify more potential suppliers as a result of growing political instability and disasters like the Japanese earthquake.

And that move away from single sources of key parts offers a big opportunity for smaller firms, says a Dunstable expert in the automotive industry.

Auto business development guru Richard Cooper, director of Automotive Specialist Associates, in Windermere Close, said a growing list of issues like political unrest in the Middle East, rising oil prices and one-off events meant there would be a re-think of company risk assessments.

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Some Japanese companies in the UK have been hit because their own suppliers have been affected by the earthquake.

Mr Cooper said: “Previous strategies of ‘single sourcing’ will certainly be re-visited. This will apply across all commodities, components and services.”

There’s already evidence that Vauxhall is looking to reduce dependence on imports.

Nick Reilly, president of GM Europe, has said the lack of UK-based parts manufacturers was the most critical issue facing the industry.

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Mr Reilly told the BBC: “If we don’t have a decent amount of local suppliers it makes this place more difficult to be competitive.”

Mr Cooper applauded Mr Reilly’s comments but pointed out it had been GM’s strategy to remove business from the UK in favour of low cost countries.

“However, let’s look at this very positively. I really do welcome this statement by Nick, but it would be good if Nissan, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Bentley etcetera, join this initiative.”