Next Astra to be UK built

17 May, 2012 11:00am

Next-generation Vauxhall Astra will be built at Ellesmere Port, General Motors has confirmed

The next-generation Vauxhall Astra will be built at the firm's facility in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, as part of a £125million investment that will secure the future of 2,100 workers and create 700 new jobs.

The announcement follows last night's vote by Vauxhall staff on a new pay and conditions deal. An overwhelming 94 per cent voted in favour of the new deal, which will allow more flexible hours as the plant moves towards 24-hour, seven-days-a-week working.

Production of the next-generation Astra will begin in 2015, and the agreement - which lasts until the early 2020s - is for a minimum of 160,000 cars to be built every year.

The future of the Ellesmere Port plant had been under threat, with parent company General Motors reporting continued losses in Europe. GM's European division Opel has lost 11billion dollars (£7billion) since 1997, and 750million dollars last year alone.

Speaking at the Detroit Motor Show earlier this year, President of GM International Operations Tim Lee told Auto Express: “We are determined to turn these two great brands (Vauxhall and Opel) around. Key players from GM are working on this, including myself, and it will be a large part of our focus over the next few years.”

He explained that the plan is to improve profitability by increasing sales, introducing a host of new products, and by reducing manufacturing costs. Lee said, “If we currently have two warehouses in Belgium, then we will now have one.”

He admitted that this could result in future job losses, but said: “We will build cars where we sell them and won’t chase cheap labour around the world, as it doesn’t make sense.”.

The future of Opel's factory in Bochum, Germany, is still under threat. Bochum produces 30 cars an hour over three shifts a day, while Ellesmere Port produces 47 cars an hour over two shifts a day.

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Lets hope quality improves more. UK needs the jobs.

Great news lets hope the next generation Astra, will kick the German made Focus arse.

Police are moaning why the British Government are are cutting back all their terms and conditions laying of the more policemen.
If the police bosses purchased more British Astra's and dropped their love of German made Focus's, it would lead to more British jobs meaning more Brits employed paying more taxes, to pay for more valuable policemen on better terms and conditions. We are all in the boat, in this together, united we stand divided we fall.

I heard a rumour the Police bosses only buy the German Focus, because they need the expensive self parking extra's all paid for by the UK taxpayer, because they don't know how to park a car manually.

Every time l see a German made Focus police car it makes me cringe, come on all you Police bosses start purchasing the superb British made Astra's instead, keep British jobs safe. Pumping money into Germany is helping to prop up the German economy.

Great to see the the lads at Ellesmere Port getting a second chance, lets start buying British made Astra'a not German Focus's. If this had gone the other way and we had lost these British Astra jobs, it would have lost a lot of auto workers tax revenue, which would have led to a massive increase in benefits to keep them on the dole doing nothing, and more massive cutbacks of public service like our much loved highly regarded bobbies on the beat yet again due to money going east supporting German economy & Focus assembly line workers job.

Another nail in the coffin of our Children's & Grandchidrens future prospects for future jobs with only massive youth unemployment poor public services.

IvorBiggen. I salute you and your comments.

I couldn't agree with you more. A lot of people who buy the Focus seem to have their head in the clouds and think they are buying a british car.

Nice to read some posts where people aren't slagging GM for a change. Won't be long before the posts appear telling people they should only be buying Audi and BMW and that Vauxhalls fall apart and are crap.

(From the owner of a Vectra with 175,000 miles on the clock which has just passed its MOT with flying colours).