We are pleased to confirm that our next-generation Astra compact car will be built at our manufacturing plant, Ellesmere Port, in Cheshire. Ellesmere Port will be the lead plant of only two in Europe building the new model.
The decision follows the conclusion of a ground-breaking new labour agreement recently approved by the Vauxhall workforce. The agreement comes into force in 2013 and runs through the life of the next-generation Astra – into the early 2020s.
As part of the agreement, the plant will implement a number of creative operating solutions to improve flexibility, reduce fixed-costs and significantly improve its competitiveness. Ellesmere Port plant will become one of the most competitive plants in the Vauxhall/Opel manufacturing network.
Assembly of the new compact car is scheduled to start in 2015. Operating on three-shifts, the plant is expected to run profitably at full capacity and a minimum of 160,000 vehicles will be produced each year. In the meantime, we intend to invest £125 million into our facility in Ellesmere Port to upgrade it to the latest manufacturing standards and prepare for production of the new model. We expect to create around 700 new jobs.
For the Astra to be build in Ellesmere Port, we will also be raising our use of local suppliers to at least 25 per cent. This will create further employment locally and in the UK overall and will further increase 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.”
Vauxhall is quintessentially British and has been manufacturing motor vehicles in the UK seamlessly since 1903. This announcement, allied to our continuing launch of award-winning, stylish and innovative new products, our sponsorship of home nations football and our industry-leading Vauxhall Lifetime Warranty, underpins our commitment to the UK market and our loyal customers.
Images and colours shown are for illustrative purposes only and may show optional equipment.