Government grant for Ellesmere Port factory comes under fire
11 July 2007

The British Government's plan to give Vauxhall £8.5m in subsidies is being investigated by the European Commission.The planned subsidy would help fund training at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory until 2012.However, under EU rules, state aid is only allowed to provide an extra incentive for training, and the EU believes Vauxhall would have carried out the training even without government assistance.The Ellesmere Port factory had been under threat of closure until GM announced in April that the next Astra will be built there, safeguarding 2200 jobs. GM instead decided to reduce operations at its Antwerp plant, putting 1400 Belgian jobs at risk, and quite possibly upsetting some Brussels bigwigs.

Our Verdict

Vauxhall Astra 2009-2015
The Astra is now in its sixth incarnation, but it can trace its linage back to 1963's Viva

The Vauxhall Astra is one of the best-looking hatchbacks, but average dynamics and performance hamper its overall appeal

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    23 March 2017
    Superbly comfy, practical and versatile, with much greater luxury and class than you might expect, the Discovery puts the utility back into the large SUV
  • Skoda Kodiaq 2.0 TSI 180 4x4 DSG SEL
    First Drive
    22 March 2017
    The Kodiaq's versatile interior continues to impress, but this punchiest petrol engine will be a rare sight on our roads while diesel rules the roost
  • Suzuki Swift
    First Drive
    21 March 2017
    Fourth-generation supermini mixes charm with peppy economy. Fine looks, handling and reasonable ride quality, but truly bargain basement versions are a thing of the past
  • Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D
    First Drive
    21 March 2017
    Sharper looks, a more luxurious interior and an engaging chassis thrust new Mazda CX-5 towards the top of the mid-sized SUV class
  • Ferrari GTC4 Lusso
    First Drive
    21 March 2017
    Ferrari's new V8 GTC4 Lusso T has the noise and poise to excite, but as a long-distance tourer it makes a less convincing case for itself