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In the Driving Seat: Garry Wilson, Director – Business Development, Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC)

Anyone interested in the automotive industry, cars, rallying, and even more specifically, Metro 6R4s, should enjoy this month’s ‘In the Driving Seat’ feature about Garry Wilson, Director – Business Development, Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC)

Name
Garry Wilson

Company
Advanced Propulsion Centre UK (APC)

Position
Director – Business Development

Apart from that
Business:

  • Fellow of the Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • A Chartered Engineer
  • Member of the Automotive Council Supply Chain Group.
  • Member of the Automotive Council Technology Group, R&D Working Group

Personal:

  • Chairman of the local Amateur Swimming Club

Association with NAA

I first met Carol Holden, Chief Executive of the NAA, when she introduced me to the organisation in 2013 whilst I was on the board of Torotrak PLC and working in Leyland. We subsequently hosted a meeting driven by the NAA, with the IMechE.

The APC, which I joined in 2014, helps organisations in the automotive, truck, bus and off highway sectors turn low carbon propulsion technologies

into products developed and manufactured in the UK. This is a partnership between industry and government with £1bn available over ten years to support projects that research, develop and industrialise the key Automotive Council strategic technologies.

The NAA has an extensive network of organisations that may wish to access these resources. To this end we have supported the NAA, through Carol Holden at meetings with key North West automotive companies and we maintain regular contact regarding a wide range of opportunities.

Why did you join the NAA?

The APC has developed a relationship with the NAA to support the automotive industry in the North West and provide access to the APC’s resources such as the collaborative programme funding opportunities, the SME technology developer programme and the specialist communities that make up the new APC Spokes.

The APC Spokes are the open and inclusive networks created to provide a focus for specific technologies and act as a conduit to the UK’s expertise and resources. These bring together interested academic and industrial parties, such as NAA members, providing a voice for the technical community to take the specific technology forward and to support the development of consortia to exploit funding opportunities.

The first three APC Spokes cover Power Electronics, Electrical Energy Storage and Digital Engineering & Test. I would encourage NAA members to get involved with these communities, and whilst the APC is not formally a member of the NAA we regard ourselves as a partner to Carol and the team and look forward to working with you.

Personal

I joined the APC because I am a firm believer in the vision to position the UK as a global centre of excellence for advanced low carbon propulsion development and production. This will improve vehicular emissions and also the transport industry supply chain and therefore the economy in the UK. It is fantastic to be involved in this game-changing organisation and to be able to build relationships with companies across the spectrum from SMEs to large OEMs and support projects through the APC grant funding competitions.

Away from work I love spending time with my children when I can find room in their hectic social lives and hobbies and hence I became co-opted to the chairmanship of the local swimming club!

My main interest is motorsport and when time permits I compete in forest rallies in a Peugeot 106 and if money permits, the iconic British Group B car the MG Metro 6R4 which you can see in the picture here. I’m wearing the green overalls and my co-driver Martin Haggett is in blue.

Favourite football team

I’m not a football fan even though when I was at university in Liverpool I had “digs” a stone’s throw from Anfield and so I did go and watch the odd match!

Musical performer
Rod Stewart or Amy McDonald

Movie
The Italian Job – You can’t beat a good Michael Caine film

Books
I like Dan Brown’s books due to the detail of the architecture, art, geography; not to mention the tension. However, I will read most books if they come with a recommendation from another reader.

Best motoring moment
I have been fortunate enough to have many great motoring moments. Winning my class (N3) in the 1993 Top Gear, British Open Rally Championship has to be high up the list. We had to finish the Manx International Rally to win and after a heavy crash, the unbelievable teamwork of the crew to rebuild the car was rewarded by a win and dinner with the late great Tony Pond, the Ex-Works Rally driver!

Best business advice you’ve ever received?
‘In any team, there are no bad people!’

We are all constrained by resources and therefore it is the responsibility of the leader to get the best out of each individual, to understand and deliver what motivates them.

This was handed down to me early on in my career and has become a bit of a mantra over nearly 30 years that I have worked in the industry. People spend the vast majority of their waking hours at work and therefore it is incumbent upon us all to motivate them to deliver for the organisation whilst making it a great experience for them and a place where they can flourish.

Investing in England's North West - European Regional Development Fund
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