Brexit: Noel Gould, DuroWipers
Noel Gould, MD at DuroWipers, a company that designs, develops and manufactures high performance windscreen wipers, is vehemently against the decision to leave Europe.
His view is that Brexit is 'a catastrophe that’s dragging Britain into recession. It’s a complete mess, there are going to be victims and the marine sector will be hurt badly'. Noel, quite simply, wants another referendum, but this time on the ‘agreed’ conditions.
"It’s the only thing that will stop the problem as there’s nothing good to come from Brexit. Hopefully we can get the decision reversed and we can start building bridges.”
From a personal perspective, he thinks that the UK is not helping itself after seven years of recession and the earlier destruction of manufacturing capacity.
The problem for DuroWipers is that the company’s main market is in Western Europe where high quality shipping demands high quality parts. “2017 was the worst performance in our company’s history," says Noel. "Thankfully we have contracts with prestigious operators where quality and endurance are a necessity. We’ve been going since 1982 and the last 18 months to two years have seen orders dry up. Either our customer’s own orders have dried up or they are using European sources.”
Noel's plans at present don’t look to the long term. “We’re getting enquires from China, but their priority is not on quality. The US looks after its own – we’ve never had an order from that part of the world.” When it comes to Eastern Europe he’s not hopeful as experience tells him they’re not interested in a quality product.
As for marine in general, Noel believes that if Brexit goes ahead 'Europe will continue to give the UK the cold shoulder'.
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