Vauxhall owner ‘could move Astra production from UK’


The chief executive of Vauxhall-owner PSA says it could move all production from its Ellesmere Port factory if Brexit makes it unprofitable.

Carlos Tavares told the Financial Times that the carmaker has alternatives to the plant which it could use.

The move would probably lead to the closure of the site, the FT said, threatening 1,000 jobs.

That would leave Vauxhall’s Luton-based van plant as its last presence in the UK.

In June, the carmaker announced plans to manufacture the next generation of the Astra, its best selling car, in Ellesmere Port and another factory in Germany. At the time, it warned that its decision would depend on the final Brexit terms.

However, Mr Tavares has now gone further, indicating that the firm has another plant in mind should the UK leave the EU without a deal.

In an official statement on Monday, PSA confirmed the group was still looking to manufacture the next-generation Astra at Russelsheim and Ellesmere Port.

But it warned that the final decision on the role of the Ellesmere Port plant would be conditional on the “final terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union”.

The firm said it would closely monitor political developments and engage with politicians to understand the various potential Brexit outcomes.

At the weekend, Michael Gove, who has been charged by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to prepare for leaving the EU with no deal, said the government was now “working on the assumption” of a no-deal Brexit.


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