MADRID, Spain - J. Ignacio Lopez wants Spain to have its own car industry, independent of the major global companies.
In his autobiography, Tu puedes - Memorias de un trabajador, (You Can - Memories of a Worker), published here last month, Lopez proposes that Spain can have its own car company, controlling design and manufacture. He says Spain has great creativity but fails in organization.
In an interview between autograph sessions at a book fair, he expanded on his idea.
'It's a matter of will and faith,' he said. 'First of all you have got to believe in it, and that's 50 percent of all. You also need a good project, something that a consumer is really expecting or asking for.
'You can open a place for yourself, even in an overcrowded world.'
Spain has many auto plants, and Seat SA, the Volkswagen subsidiary, is based in Barcelona. But Lopez wants more.
'After the decision to close Vilvoorde, ask the Belgians - excellent workers and organizers -if they wouldn't like to have their own brand name,' said the former chief purchasing executive at General Motors and Volkswagen AG. When Renault SA closed its assembly plant in Vilvoorde, workers went on a month long strike and Belgian customers abandoned the brand.
A potential Spanish business is Suzuki Motor Co. Ltd.'s former plant in Santana, Spain. The plant is now controlled by the Andalusian regional government. Its 1,764 workers build Suzuki Vitara and Samurai sport-utilities under license, at a volume of 30,000 units a year.
Lopez denied reports that he was bidding for control of the plant, although some of the Basque businessmen he works with are interested.
'I want to emphasize I haven't done any bid, as it has been said,' said Lopez. 'I am a professional of organization, and therefore I would be glad to make suggestions if I am requested to.'