Vauxhall 'finalising plans to make electric vans at Ellesmere Port'
Vauxhall ‘finalising plans to make electric vans at its plant in Ellesmere Port in a bid to safeguard 1,000 jobs’
- Cheshire plant’s future was uncertain after company said it would stop investing
- Bosses blamed the PM’s ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030
- The decision to manufacture electric cars at Ellesmere Port will save 1,000 jobs
Vauxhall is finalising plans to make electric vehicles at its plant in Ellesmere Port in a move that would safeguard the site’s future, it was claimed last night.
More than 1,000 people work at the Cheshire site, with thousands of other jobs in the supply chain reliant on it.
But the plant was plunged into uncertainty when parent company Stellantis said it would no longer invest in production of the vehicles currently made there.
Bosses blamed Boris Johnson’s ‘brutal’ decision to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
It left the plant’s long-term fate dependant on whether it could be used to make electric models in future – something the firm was reportedly close to confirming last night.
Vauxhall is finalising plans to make electric vehicles at its plant in Ellesmere Port in a move that would safeguard the site’s future, it was claimed last night
Stellantis will reportedly make electric vans at Ellesmere Port, safeguarding the site’s future, according to the Financial Times.
Kwasi Kwarteng, the Business Secretary, had previously said he was ‘hopeful’ about saving the plant after personally holding discussions with the company.
The firm is thought to have asked for financial support from the Government but details of its demands have not been revealed.
Michael Lohscheller, the head of Stellantis’ Vauxhall and Opel division, had previously called on ministers to ‘behave in the interest of the UK economy’.
Now an announcement about the plant’s future could be made as soon as Tuesday, according to reports.
Stellantis declined to comment last night.
Stellantis will reportedly make electric vans at Ellesmere Port, safeguarding the site’s future, according to the Financial Times (pictured, Vauxhall cars lined up after coming off the production line at Ellesmere Port)
It comes after Nissan on Thursday unveiled plans for a £1billion electric vehicle hub in Sunderland, including a massive battery ‘gigafactory’.
Stellantis, which was created last year from the merger of Fiat Crysler and PSA, is not thought to be planning a battery plant at Ellesmere Port and will instead import them from abroad.
The company has previously set out plans to make batteries in France, Germany and another European location – although it has ruled out the UK.
Ministers are currently trying to woo car makers into basing battery gigafactories in the UK, amid predictions that up to eight could be needed to meet demand for electric cars in future.
It comes after Nissan on Thursday unveiled plans for a £1billion electric vehicle hub in Sunderland. The deal was hailed by Boris Johnson, who visited the site on Thursday, as ‘a massive boost for Britain’s economy’
Alongside the one in Sunderland, so far battery maker Britishvolt has also announced plans for a huge gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland.
Stellantis and Vauxhall already make diesel Vivaro vans at another plant in Luton which is said to be running at full capacity.
Major firms in the UK including BT have previously called on Vauxhall to expand production of electric vans at its British plants to help slash their cost.
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