PSA Groupe has already revealed its grand-scale turnaround plan for Opel, and the brand’s British cousin, Vauxhall. However, this past October, Vauxhall announced it would cut 400 jobs at the Ellesmere Port plant and reduce the plant’s operation from two shifts to one.
Vauxhall’s head, Rory Harvey, told Autocar in a report published last Friday that the cuts actually have nothing to do with the brand’s performance. Instead, they were a way to take some cost out of the plant and react to Europe’s shift to crossovers over small cars. The Ellesmere Port plant builds the Vauxhall Astra and its variants in right-hand drive.
“One thing that isn’t necessarily a positive, but happened on a voluntary basis, is that we took some cost out of the plant at Ellesmere Port and some people put their hand up to help us get to where we need to,” he said.
Harvey added, “That’s nothing to do with output or performance, but segment shifts in the market throughout Europe. When you’ve got one product on a line, if you get shifts in market you have to align your resources.”
However, the decision may help Vauxhall with a quick turnaround, per the executive, who understands PSA’s long-term goals.
“We think Q1 may be down on this year, and Q2-4 will be flat,” Harvey said of 2018.