Currently reading: Vauxhall: Ellesmere Port talks 'productive but not conclusive'
Stellantis is in talks with the UK government over agreement to secure future of Astra factory
James Attwood, digital editor
News
2 mins read
25 February 2021

Vauxhall boss Michael Lohscheller has said that talks with the UK government to secure the future of the firm's Ellesmere Port plant have been "productive but not conclusive" - and has hinted that government support will be key to a final decision.

The future of the Cheshire factory, which currently employs around 1000 people, has been in question for some time. The current Astra is built there, but Vauxhall parent company Stellantis has yet to decide if the next-generation version of the hatchback and estate will be.

Stellantis boss Carlos Tavares recently said the UK ban on most new ICE cars from 2030 “could destroy the business model” of the facility, adding that its future could depend “on the UK government’s willingness to protect some level of its automotive industry”.

Stellantis representatives have met with business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng several times in recent months, with further talks taking place this week. Speaking about the negotiations, Lohscheller told Bloomberg News: “At this stage, these discussions are productive but not conclusive,” adding that Stellantis expected authorities "to behave in the interest of the UK economy".

Reports suggest Stellantis is seeking financial incentives to produce electric vehicles (EVs) at Ellesmere Port and commitments on the post-Brexit trade of car parts including batteries. 

The BBC has previously said that three options for Ellesmere Port are being considered by Stellanis: continuing production of ICE cars - possibly with a new model - until the plant becomes obselete; decide to wind down production and close the plant; or commit to making EVs at the site.

Committing to EV production at Ellesmere Port would likely depend on a commitment by the UK to build battery production capacity to ensure a supply for the site and other plants. That is particularly important, due to the ‘rules of origin’ requirements introduced in the post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal.

READ MORE

Tavares: 2030 combustion engine ban could lead to Ellesmere Port plant closure

Vauxhall poised to build next-gen Astra at Ellesmere Port (from 2019)

The road to 2030: can the UK be a leader in electrification?

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Paul Dalgarno 25 February 2021

While 1,000 jobs is a lot it is not the end of the world. Of course I wish the factory all the best. 1,000 would be a drop in the ocean vs the number of retail jobs lost during Covid though.  

Car manufacturers seem to get a very good deal on subsidies in the UK, and I'm in the group who need to see the subsidies make sense financially - otherwise put the money into future industries instead of dying ones? This continual need for car subsidies is wearing thin. Many industries have gone in the UK, and I'd love to see more manufacturing here, but if it doesn't work then move on and find new ways to regenerate the economy. 

Peter Cavellini 25 February 2021

You think that in the UK , all we made were Cars, and even in these double hard times, we're checking the proverbial Baby Toy as far as we can, Europe was falling apart for last few years, and the members that are left are doing there damness to bring the work into Europe before more want to leave,or, have to leave the EU, oh, by the way, both sides negotiating will mature on there lips.

Peter Cavellini 25 February 2021
Peter Cavellini wrote:

You think that in the UK , all we made were Cars, and even in these double hard times, we're checking the proverbial Baby Toy as far as we can, Europe was falling apart for last few years, and the members that are left are doing there damness to bring the work into Europe before more want to leave,or, have to leave the EU, oh, by the way, both sides negotiating will mature on there lips.

it's, chucking, and Manure, thanks.

jagdavey 25 February 2021

The sad fact is regardless of Brexit, the centre of Electric Vehicle car produgtion seems to be Germany. Look at Tesla, and what Volkswagen are doing and the gigafactories being built there. Even France seems to be missing out on Battery production plants. The UK is well out of the equation since it is no more in the EU. Making Electric Vehicles profitably means they have to be made in gigantic mega factories and these only exist in Germany. Theres nothing near this scale in the UK. With regards to the next Astra, PSA or Atlantis or whatever its called this week has already said that the new model will only be made in Ruesselsheim, Germany. Tavares was really hoping a no deal Brexit could have been used as an excuse to close Ellesmere Port. That didnt happen and his only way out now will be to blame the British government for not handing over large sums of cash.

jonboy4969 26 February 2021

You clearly have not heard that i-Pace is coming back to the UK, with JAGuar (as in your name) going all electric, as well as the UK building at LEAST three Battery Gigaplants, and Jaguar are building one of those, plus the LEAF, where has that been built for years, and with in excess of half a million builti n Sunderland, I think the UK EV operation is good at the moment, and will be significantly better, ongoing.

 

AND WHY should the government constantly hand over cash to companies that make BILLIONS of $£€ in profits, they are just scrabbing a-Holes, trying to blackmail the government, enough is enough now, this country is NOW in financial dire straits, and we can not afford to constantly hand over cash to foreign companies that build here, remember what PSA did a few years ago to Ryton, well, good, let them go, let another company take on the site, demolish and rebuild like Longbridge, we can not be held hostage anymore, we are not in the EU, they can F Off, I was a remainer, but their behavious and the way they have tried to block all we do is becoming a joke, we will in the long term be so far better off with them breathing down our necks all the time.