GM to the rescue for Vauxhall

Fears over the closure of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant have been allayed today as General Motors confirmed it will keep the site open for the production of its new Astra model.

Suggestions that Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant, which employs 2,100 people, would close came after disappointing annual results for the European Unit of Vauxhall’s owners, General Motors.

Indications made earlier this month however, that GM would look to locate production of its next generation Astra at Ellesmere spurred hopes of avoiding job losses.

Today GM has confirmed that the new Astra will be manufactured at Ellesmere Port from 2015 and it is expected that more jobs will be created as production ramps up and the site moves from two to three shifts.

According to the BBC the acceptance of new flexible working measures by Vauxhall employees was key in securing GM’s commitment to keep the site open.

Business Secretary, Vince Cable described the result as “a good story” and said that the decision to produce the Astra in the UK proved the country is considered “a good business environment for the motor industry.”

Philippa Oldham, head of Transport and Manufacturing at IMechE praised the renaissance of the UK’s car manufacturing industry that has led the country to its first trade surplus since the 70s.

“Government must focus on supporting manufacturing in key industries, like automotive, power aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Manufacturing has the ability to help lift the UK economy out of its current rut, and Government must focus its support on industries in which the UK excels and which provide economic resilience.”

“It is great news on many fronts,” explained Simon Griffiths, Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) Area Director North and West. The fact the new Astra will be built at Ellesmere Port safeguards 2,100 jobs, will create hundreds more on site and there are real possibilities that this will cascade down into the UK supply chain that supports production.”

Learn more about flexible working options for manufacturers at TM’s Flex for the Future conference on July 5-6.

This event will be held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole. Presentations and case studies will be delivered by Aimia Foods, BAE Systems and Nabarro LLP among others.

For further information please contact Benn Walsh (b.walsh@sayonemedia.com) on 0207 401 6033.