General Motors stops production as eurozone crisis stifles orders

General Motors has announced that it will halt production of Vauxhall vehicles at its plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton due to faltering demand in the European market.

The down time is due to commence on September 24. The news comes less than four months after General Motors took the decision to produce its next generation Astra model at Ellesmere Port with the high profile safeguarding of 2,100 jobs.

Representatives from Unite the Union have assured that workers will still be paid during the shutdown which has been deemed necessary in order to balance inventory with order volumes.

General Motors is not the only car manufacturer to have been hit by fluctuating demand in Europe. Ford, Fiat and Renault have also announced short term factory closures.

About 1.34m cars were made in Britain last year, an increase of 6% on 2010 and SMMT figures released last month show that UK automotive output rose for its thirteenth consecutive month in July.

Many of these cars are being produced to service strong demand from rapid growth economies in Asia but industry analysts are expressing growing concern that a long anticipated restructuring of the European automotive market may be imminent.