Vauxhall is set to axe 400 jobs at its Ellesmere Port plant
Nearly a quarter of workers to lose jobs at Cheshire facility in bid to enhance site’s competitiveness
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 bid to boost its 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.
“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.”
Reports elsewhere have linked the UK’s departure from the European Union as a key contributor to the workforce changes, but the spokesman told Autocar that PSA remains committed to Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port site.
“[PSA Group boss] Carlos Tavares has said Ellesmere could get more investment in the future, so this could put us in a good place for that,” continued the spokesman.
The PSA Group, which includes Peugeot, Citroen and DS, completed its purchase of Vauxhall and sister brand Opel from GM in August.
Additional reporting by Sam Sheehan