Stellantis is investing £100 million in Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant to create a new electric vehicle (EV) factory.
It will become the automotive group’s first factory to solely produce EVs.
The plant will produce commercial and passenger versions of the Vauxhall and Opel Combo-e, Citroen e-Berlingo and Peugeot e-Partner.
Carlos Tavares, chief executive officer at Stellantis, said: “Performance is always the trigger for sustainability and this £100million investment demonstrates our commitment to the UK and to Ellesmere Port.
“I particularly want to thank our highly skilled, dedicated workforce for their patience and contribution; we never let them down. Equally, I want to thank our partners the Unite Union for their open mind set and strong cooperation and, of course, the UK Government for their continued support. Producing battery electric vehicles here will support clean, safe and affordable mobility for the citizens. Since 1903 Vauxhall has manufactured vehicles in Britain and we will continue to do so.”
The plant’s future has been hanging in the balance since the UK decided to exit the European Union.
It has been used to build the current generation of Astra – which is due for replacement next year – employing around 1,000 staff members.
The future for Ellesmere Port has been consistently supported by the UK Government, the Cheshire West and Chester Council, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise partnership and Chester College.
UK Government, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Ellesmere Port’s proud tradition in auto manufacturing will continue for many years to come thanks to today’s investment. Stellantis’ decision to double down on their commitment to this site is a clear vote of confidence in the UK as one of the best locations globally for competitive, high-quality automotive production.
“Today’s decision will not only power Ellesmere Port into a clean future, but will secure thousands of jobs across the region in the supply chain. In this global race to secure electric vehicle production, we are proud to support Britain’s auto sector in this crucial transition as we work to build back better.”
The plant at Ellesmere Port will celebrate its 60th anniversary next year, having been built in 1962, and 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.
Richard Jones. managing director at Lex Autolease and Black Horse at Lloyds Banking Group, said: “This is the second announcement about the manufacture of electric vehicles in the UK in less than a week, a major shot in the arm for the country’s Road to Zero strategy and ambition to be leading the charge on sustainable transport.
“As the momentum continues to shift away from petrol and diesel, Government departments and industry bodies need to continue to work together to reassure even more manufacturers that the UK is the best place for EV development and manufacture. By ensuring the product supply and supporting infrastructure is in place, we can continue to help individual drivers and businesses accelerate their transition towards an electric future.”