Nearly a quarter of workers to lose jobs at Cheshire facility in a bid to enhance site's competitiveness
James Attwood, digital editor
16 October 2017

Vauxhall's decision to cut 400 jobs from its Ellesmere Port plant is to do with market changes, not Brexit, a spokesman has told Autocar.

The PSA Group-owned British company’s Cheshire site is being taken down a “glide path” from two shifts to one, as bosses attempt to boost efficiency at a time when output has slumped by 20% in one year.

Ellesmere Port, which currently builds the Astra, is on course to produce 110,000 cars in 2017, which will be 30,000 short of its 2016 figure. The output decrease has been attributed to growing sales of SUVs, which have impacted demand for saloons and larger hatchbacks. Sales of the former have fallen by more than 50% compared with a decade ago.

“This is all to do with market changes,” said the spokesman. “This plant needs to be financially sound as we move forward to next-generation products. We need to be in a profitability zone that puts us on par with the rest of the PSA Group.”

PSA sold 3.5 million cars globally last year. Vauxhall and Opel (its name on the continent), meanwhile, sold one million cars.

Reports elsewhere have suggested Britain's plans to leave the European Union was a key contributor to Vauxhall's woes, but the spokesman dismissed this, telling Autocar that the workfore adjustments will enhance the brand's competitiveness.

"PSA remains committed to Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port site," the spokesman said. “[PSA boss] Carlos Tavares has said Ellesmere could get more investment in the future, so this could put us in a good place for that."

PSA, which includes Peugeot, Citroën and DS, completed its purchase of Vauxhall and sister brand Opel from General Motors in August. The £1.9 billion deal, which was first announced in March, makes PSA the second-biggest-selling car group in Europe after Volkswagen. The enlarged PSA now has a 17% share of the European market.

Additional reporting by Sam Sheehan

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Comments
19

15 October 2017

Peugeot killed the Rootes Group fairly rapidly. I'm sure we'll be seeing more of this across Europe with other Opel and Vauxhall factories.

15 October 2017

will die otherwise, no Astra replacement ? we should boycott French ans Spanish cars mase by psa group

15 October 2017

I thought when PSA took over GM Europe they said there would no job losses before 2019.

Now they've started already!!!! Or was that job guarantee only in the "Eurozone".

The unions are stronger in France & Germany, that explains why PSA are starting in the U.K.first!!!

15 October 2017

Not PSA.

The Astra and Insignia are staid, traditional cars in what are now niches which have been swamped by SUV derivatives.

I do wonder how long it will be until PSA close Vauxhall down completely though....

Steam cars are due a revival.

16 October 2017

They are also piles of poo, which doesnt help.

15 October 2017

They had a decent scrappage scheme, we would have used it but they stopped it recently. We went for the excellent Mazda one instead. 4K for a very tired old Corsa we were just about to literally scrap.

15 October 2017

I largely agree with Thekrankis. But I also think that car sales have dropped off badly as would-be buyers have loaded up on debt in the last few years and realise that a new car loan will push them over the edge. Scrappage schemes are just disguised discounts to desperately sell the manufacturers' overcapacity. I'm sure that other car makers will be cutting production too in the very near future.

15 October 2017

Great - doesnt really surprise me, PSA as stated eventually got rid of any UK manufacturing when the 206 went at thousands of job losses. Now they are starting GM production - dreadful.

Such a shame as GM had just launched two decent new cars Insignia and Astra.

16 October 2017

Launching “decent” cars is not enough. Either they have to be cheap, or they have to be good or better. That’s why GM has been losing money for years and sold to the French cost cutters. Economy of scale will be needed with common PSA/Opel platforms, margins will be tight, so unless the designers and engineers come up with something that’s cheap and very good they’re doomed. 

They also don’t make an SUV there, big problem.

The Astra is incredibly dull looking. The new Insignia looks quite nice, but no one wants a Vauxhall as the brand is damaged to the extent it will take a generation of great products to revive it - that won’t happen with PSA, no time or money. It was the 80s when Vauxhall last had a good line up.

Quality will not be a priority for a French company, it’s not in the business mentality of non premium products.

Vauxhall’s brand has been destroyed. 25+ years of mediocrity has seen to that. 

16 October 2017

Lol, since when were the Astra and Insignia "decent" ??

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