Currently reading: Vauxhall set to build next-generation Astra at Ellesmere Port
UK factory set to remain the home of the long-running hatchback – but the deal depends on Brexit negotiations

The next generation of Vauxhall Vauxhall Astra is set to be built at the firm's Ellesmere Port plant from 2021 onwards – depending on the final terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union.

The long-term future of the Ellesmere Port plant has been in doubt for some time, with Carlos Tavares, the boss of Vauxhall’s parent company, PSA Group, saying that it needed to close the cost and quality gap to the group’s other European plants in order to survive.

But PSA, which also owns the Citroën, DS and Peugeot brands, has now confirmed that it is planning for the facility near Liverpool to be one of two European manufacturing locations for the next-generation Astra, alongside Opel’s Russelsheim plant in Germany. The current model is built at Ellesmere Port and Opel’s Gliwice facility in Poland.

The next-generation Astra will be built on PSA's EMP2 platform and, as part of the firm's electrification programme, will include an electrified version. The machine is due to go into production in 2021.

PSA said it had been “working hard” to turn around Vauxhall’s fortunes and the decision over Ellesmere Port “demonstrates the continuous effort and commitment of Groupe PSA to Vauxhall Motors”.

However, PSA said the plan to build the Astra at its UK facility was not set in stone. “The decision on the allocation to the Ellesmere Port plant will be conditional on the final terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union and the acceptance of the New Vehicle Agreement, which has been negotiated with the Unite Trade Union,” it said.

PSA didn't specify exactly what Brexit terms it was seeking, although it is likely to focus on frictionless and tariff-free trade between the UK and the EU. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has continued to lead calls from the car industry to secure a tariff-free trade agreement and for the Government to rule out a no-deal Brexit.

Ellesmere Port opened in 1962 on the site of RAF Hooton Park, initially producing the Viva. It later produced the Chevette, and in 1980 it became the first Vauxhall plant to produce and export Opel-branded cars to Europe. The Astra has been produced there since 1981, and the plant was also the production base for the larger Vectra.

Read more

PSA 'could still close factory' after Brexit

Vauxhall can be Brexit survivors, says PSA boss

Vauxhall cutting 400 jobs at Ellesmere Port (from 2017)

50 years of Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port plant (from 2014)

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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RCT V 28 June 2019

Without a deal, with a "hard"

Without a deal, with a "hard" WTO BREXIT, PSA will use Ellesmere Port to build ALL the Group's EMP2 based models, to circumvent any possible/future tariffs.
rhwilton 28 June 2019

WTO means tariffs over which

WTO means tariffs over which we have no influence.

scotty5 28 June 2019

rhwilton wrote:

rhwilton wrote:

WTO means tariffs over which we have no influence.

Being a member of the EU means we have a 1/28th influence. Being outside means we have 100% influence to make trade deals.

RCT V 28 June 2019

RCT V wrote:

RCT V wrote:

Without a deal, with a "hard" WTO BREXIT, PSA will use Ellesmere Port to build ALL the Group's EMP2 based models, to circumvent any possible/future tariffs.

As already done at Luton . . .

"Back in April it was announced that Luton would produce not only the next Vivaro van but its PSA alternatives, the Peugeot Expert and Citroen Dispatch. This is set to increase its overall production output from 70,000 to 100,000 units".



Tonrichard 27 June 2019

Good News

This is good (and rather surprising) news, especially as PSA must have over capacity in Europe. I thought Ellesmere Port’s fate was sealed when PSA started removing shifts and cutting staff. The employees seem to go through the ring every time the plant has had to “bid” for a new model. They and the Union should be congratulated for continuing to deliver on their promises however painful this must have been. You have to conclude that PSA have been pleased with the productivity and improved profitability of the Vauxhall operations. I only hope that the new products coming through make for a better future for Vauxhall.

Andrew1 27 June 2019

Unless no-deal catastrophe

Unless no-deal catastrophe happens, of course.