Peugeot to build new Vauxhall Vivaro van at Luton plant

French carmaker group, PSA has announced that the new Vauxhall Vivaro van will be built in the UK, alongside the Opel Vivaro, Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch versions.

Vauxhall employs some 4,500 people at its plants in Ellesmere Port (Cheshire) and Luton (Bedfordshire) - image courtesy of Pixabay.
Vauxhall employs some 4,500 people at its plants in Ellesmere Port (Cheshire) and Luton (Bedfordshire) – image courtesy of Pixabay.

As reported, Vauxhall/Opel owner PSA has confirmed the next generation of Vauxhall Vivaro van will be build in Luton with the new model expected to go on sale in mid-2019.

PSA chairman Carlos Tavares commented: “This is a major milestone for the future of the Luton plant and a key enabler to serve our ambitions in the commercial vehicle market, guaranteeing customers the best offering in this segment.”

Tavares announced that production would increase in Luton from 2017’s 70,000 vehicles to 100,000, with the new van based on the PSA group EMP2 platform that underpins everything from the Peugeot 3008 to the new DS 7.

It is expected that this means a move over to PSA diesel engines to power the Vivaro and we can also expect hybrid and full-ev models, with the chairman revealing that the new Vivaro will be electrified at some point in its lifecycle.

Although the announcement only mentioned, as reported, Vauxhall and Opel Vivaro models, PSA confirmed reportedly that Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch will also be built in Luton alongside Vauxhall and Opel versions of the Vivaro if demand for vans continues to increase.

Good future prospects for Luton plant 

Luton’s future has been secured following discussions between PSA, the UK Government and Luton Borough Council, with the UK contributing a £9m investment in the plant on top of PSA’s outlay on the project of close to £100m.

Business secretary Greg Clarke, also present at the announcement, said: “Today’s decision is a vote of confidence in Vauxhall’s highly skilled workforce and the UK’s world-leading automotive sector.

“The investment in upgrading the production platform will safeguard and grow jobs, ensuring the future of the Luton plant well into the next decade and help ensure the plant is well positioned for future Vauxhall models to be made in the UK.”

Van sales across Europe increased reportedly rapidly in 2017, with PSA taking over half of that growth. Although van sales dropped in the UK in 2017, sales have picked up again in 2018 with sales rising 6.4% in February.

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes said: “This announcement is great news for the UK automotive sector and, especially, the Luton plant. The UK continues to be a centre of excellence for vehicle production thanks to our engineering expertise, high levels of productivity and a collaborative relationship with government which has enabled us to build a robust industrial strategy and a sector deal.”

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