A restructuring of General Motors European Operations has enabled the plant to avoid being shut down, providing relief for over 2,000 employees at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port assembly plant.
According to BBC News, the plant was slated for closure before restructuring took place. Luckily, an agreement to build the next-generation Vauxhall Astra at the plant was reached, guaranteeing the plant’s existence through 2020.
Duncan Aldred, outgoing managing director and chairman of Vauxhall Motors, echoed these thoughts to reporters, saying the plant was very close to being shut down. Without a deal for the next Astra, the plant would have most certainly been shuttered.
The next-gen Astra would be a next-generation model, buying the plant protection for the next six years. Having already confirmed that Opel’s Bochum Plant will cease production by 2016, the Ellesmere Port plant reprieve is music to employees’ ears. Aldred, who will move to work at General Motors’ headquarters in Detroit, believes UK car sales could potentially rise by up to 5 percent — a huge leap from the 1 percent projected by the SMMT.
Although far from being crystal clear, GM has demisted the clouded future of the Ellesmere Port facility for the time being. Stay in touch for further updates on the life of the plant and what the next-generation Astra has in store.