Vauxhall’s troubled Ellesmere Port factory in northwest England will now make electric vehicles, the brand’s parent company has announced.
The Cheshire site will get £100m of investment after two years of uncertainty.
Its future had been uncertain after its owner said in 2019 that it wanted to make the new Astra car there, but that it would depend on the outcome of Brexit, which was only settled in December 2020.
This new deal has been backed by the UK government, Stellantis said, in a similar way to last week’s Nissan factory announcement.
Boris Johnson claimed in a video message the move was “a huge vote of confidence in our economy, in the people of Ellesmere Port and in our fantastic post-Brexit trading relationships”.
From 2022, Ellesmere Port will produce the Vauxhall Combo-e, Peugeot e-Partner and Citroen e-Berlingo vans and their passenger car variants for both the domestic and export markets.
The site will be Stellantis’ first site dedicated to battery electric vehicles for those brands.
Up to 7,000 workers in the supply chain rely on the plant for their livelihoods, according to the Unite union.
In a statement, Stellantis said the plant would be upgraded with “a new body shop, upgraded general assembly, a compression of the site area and the creation of an on-site battery pack assembly”.
The conglomerate said it wanted Ellesmere Port to be carbon-neutral by the middle of this decade, and that it was exploring the creation of wind and solar farms to become self-sufficient for electricity.