‘PSA’s confidence in Britain bodes well for the future’

Steve Fowler thinks Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory should be turned into a global plant for PSA’s right-hand-drive cars

Opinion - PSA

I always get a kick out of visiting factories, especially when there’s good news to report. So it was great to be at the Vauxhall plant in Luton – home to vehicle manufacturing since 1905 – to hear that its future had been secured until the end of the next decade at least.

New Vauxhall/Opel owner PSA announced investment of around £100million to build the new Vivaro van in Bedfordshire, along with its Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch sister models.

Alongside PSA boss Carlos Tavares was Business Secretary Greg Clarke, revealing that the UK Government has chipped in £9million to help secure the 1,400 jobs at Luton (with more possible) – money well spent in my book.

What struck me, though, is the confidence PSA has in the UK’s ability to build quality vehicles efficiently, even with Brexit hanging over us.

Which prompted me to ask Tavares about the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port and when we might hear good news about that. “Let’s do some maths,” he said. “Current Astra was launched in 2016. A seven-year model cycle takes us to 2023. Decisions in terms of product allocations need to be three years ahead of a launch, so that will be 2020.”

Okay, so here’s some maths for you, Mr Tavares: Ellesmere Port has a capacity of over 200,000 cars per year. It currently makes around 92,000 – all Astras, of which around a third stay in the UK. Peugeot, Citroen and DS sell around 140,000 cars here. If half of those are on the same EMP2 platform that also underpins Vauxhall’s Grandland X, and that new Astra (and probably Insignia and others) will use, why not turn Ellesmere Port into a global plant for right-hand-drive PSA cars?

With PSA brands on a roll and the boss confident in Britain, that makes complete sense, doesn’t it?

Do you agree with Steve? Let us know your thought's on PSA's future plans in Britain below...

Recommended

New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe
Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD - front
Vauxhall

New all-electric Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD reimagines the classic coupe

The Opel Manta GSe ElektroMOD EV reboots the iconic Manta coupe for the electric era
20 Apr 2021
Vauxhall talks to decide Ellesmere Port factory’s future within hours
Vauxhall
Vauxhall

Vauxhall talks to decide Ellesmere Port factory’s future within hours

The Stellantis group’s new-found focus on electrification could spell the end for the combustion-focussed Ellesmere Port plant
25 Feb 2021

Most Popular

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value
Appreciators: Renault 5
Features

Appreciating cars: classic cars that go up in value

Looking to invest in a modern classic? Here are some cars destined to appreciate in value
4 May 2021
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke
Vauxhall Mokka

Vauxhall Mokka vs Hyundai Kona vs Nissan Juke

Can the all-new Vauxhall Mokka make an impact in the small SUV market? We test it against the Hyundai Kona and Nissan Juke to find out
8 May 2021
New Bristol Buccaneer electric car to mark famous brand’s comeback
Bristol
Bristol

New Bristol Buccaneer electric car to mark famous brand’s comeback

Production of the Bristol Buccaneer is set to begin in 2025. Previous Bristol models will be re-engineered with 6.4-litre Hemi V8, and delivered in 20…
7 May 2021