General Motors is expected to confirm tomorrow that it is cutting one shift at its Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, with the loss of 1000 jobs.
The factory, which was built in 1960, produces Astras for the European market, but GM Europe chief Carl-Peter Forster has already indicated that it is the most probable site for job losses as production of the Astra model is trimmed.
Tomorrow's announcement might not stop at job losses; industry insiders now believe that GM is considering closing the plant altogether in the medium term, potentially switching production of the next-generation Astra to Sweden.
Amicus, one of the biggest unions at the plant, has already threatened to take its £8m fleet vehicles contract with Vauxhall elsewhere if GM goes ahead with job cuts. 'We will meet Japanese manufacturers who employ UK workers to explore options for sourcing our car fleet from them,' said Amicus general secretary Derek Simpson.