Vauxhall commits to UK manufacturing at Ellesmere Port

17 May 2012 #SMMT News
  • Investment of £125 million
  • 700 new direct jobs
  • Ellesmere Port will be Europe’s lead plant to build next generation Astra

Vauxhall today confirmed that it will invest £125 million to continue manufacturing at its Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, creating 700 new jobs.

The decision follows the conclusion of a groundbreaking new labour agreement, which was approved by the Vauxhall workforce yesterday. The agreement comes into force in 2013 and runs through the life of the next-generation Astra, into the early 2020s.

Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive said, “It is great news that Vauxhall will retain its Ellesmere Port plant and another important vote of confidence for the UK automotive industry, adding to the wave of recent investment decisions that have backed our facilities and workforce. The decision will see the next generation Vauxhall Astra produced at the plant, supporting the local supply chain and safeguarding jobs well into the future.

“Manufacturing is now core to our country’s economy and the partnership forged between companies, employees, trades unions and government in the UK automotive industry demonstrates that the country is a globally competitive place to do business.”

As part of the agreement, the plant will improve flexibility and reduce fixed costs, significantly improving its competitiveness. As a consequence, the Ellesmere Port plant will become one of the most competitive in the Vauxhall/Opel manufacturing network.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said,”This is fantastic news and secures car production at Ellesmere Port untill at least 2020. I am delighted for Vauxhall’s exemplary workforce and management who have all worked hard to make the cost savings needed and ensure that the UK remains at the centre of GM’s operations in Europe.

“The unions and the Government also played a significant role in demonstrating to GM’s board that Vauxhall has a very flexible workforce and making the commercial case for their continued investment in the UK.

“Today’s news shows that GM is now committed to the UK for the long-term like other global vehicle manufacturers such as Nissan, Jaguar Land Rover, Ford, Honda, Toyota and BMW. It is further testament to the strength of the UK auto sector.”

Manufacturing of the new model is scheduled to start in 2015 with the plant running at full capacity on three-shifts. The plan will see a minimum of 160,000 vehicles produced each year.

Vauxhall will also increase the local supply content for the Ellesmere Port-built Astra to at least 25%, creating further employment locally and across the UK, helping to boost the plant’s competitiveness.

Vauxhall Chairman and Managing Director, Duncan Aldred, said, “This is great news for the Ellesmere Port plant, our employees, the local community, our suppliers, the Vauxhall brand and the UK. We have been able to develop a responsible labour agreement that secures the plant’s future. This is assisted by the government’s industrial strategy; increasing its focus on the manufacturing sector and creating ideal ground for companies to build up long-term investments.

“With Ellesmere Port’s proven build quality and a new agreement that ensures excellent cost competitiveness, this facility will provide additional employment and, as the lead plant for the next-generation Astra, will be one of the cornerstones of our European manufacturing footprint.”

SMMT facilitates the strengthening of the UK automotive supply chain through regular ‘Meet the Buyer’ events. Vauxhall will take part in the next of these events in July – click through for more information about Meet the Buyer.

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