A decision on the future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant is due imminently, according to reports, following talks between Stellantis bosses and the UK government.
The future of the factory, which currently employs around 1000 people, has been in question for some time. The current Astra is built at the facility, but Vauxhall parent company Stellantis has yet to decide if the next-generation version of the hatch will be built there.
Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares recently said the UK ban on most non-zero-emission cars from 2030 onwards “could destroy the business model” of the facility, adding that the site’s future could depend “on the UK government’s willingness to protect some level of its automotive industry”.
According to the BBC, Stellantis representatives have met with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng three times in the past six months, with the most recent taking place on Monday (22 February). A recent Stellantis board meeting reportedly ended without an agreement on the plant’s future.
The BBC has said three options for Ellesmere Port are being considered by Stellanis: continuing production of combustion-engined cars – possibly with a new model – until the plant becomes obselete; decide to wind down production and close the plant; or commit to making electric cars at the site.
Committing to EV production at Ellesmere Port would likely depend on a commitment by the UK to build battery production capacity to ensure a supply for the site and other plants. That is particularly important due to the ‘rules of origin’ requirements introduced in the post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal.
Tavares: 2030 combustion engine ban could lead to Ellesmere Port plant closure
Vauxhall poised to build next-gen Astra at Ellesmere Port (from 2019)
The road to 2030: can the UK be a leader in electrification?
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