The parent company of Vauxhall Motors has confirmed a £100m investment plan which secures thousands of jobs at its Ellesmere Port plant and in the supply chain across the UK.
The investment announced by Vauxhall’s parent company, Stellantis, secures the future of the site, which had been questioned after post-Brexit trading arrangements.
The factory will now focus on making electric vehicles as the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles comes into force in 2030 in the UK.
Ellesmere Port, known in the UK as the Home of the Astra, will supply the company’s Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroën brands and for both UK and export markets.
The eight cars to be produced at Ellesmere Port are:
Vauxhall is believed to have been seeking financial incentives from the Government to help convert the factory from producing diesel and petrol vehicles to electric ones, with state aid of £30 million rumoured to have been contributed by taxpayers.
However Mr Kwarteng would not be drawn on the exact arrangements.
He said: “We have contributed an amount. But of course that has been superseded and dwarfed by Stellantis, the #100 million, that Stellantis has put into this investment.
“You will appreciate we talk with lots of automotive companies; the amount of support we give is commercially sensitive and I’m not going to disclose that to you on television.”Stelantis says there will be further support to enable carbon neutrality for the plant by the middle of this decade. It aims to be 100% self-sufficient for electricity and work will commence shortly on potential wind and solar farms in the area.
It has also announced plans to consult on further investment with the creation of a new UK parts distribution centre nearby.
The plant at Ellesmere Port, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, produced its first car, the Vauxhall Viva, in 1964.
Since that time, it has produced subsequent generations of the Vauxhall Viva, the Vauxhall Chevette and then each generation of the Vauxhall and Opel Astra.
In total, since 1964, it has built over 5.2 million vehicles.
Up to 7,000 workers in the supply chain rely on the plant for their livelihoods, according to union Unite.
Its future had been questioned after Stellantis announced the new Astra model would not be built there.