Performance Vauxhall - - NEWS -

The pro­posed re­struc­tur­ing of Ellesmere Port.

aux­hall has an­nounced it has en­tered into a pe­riod of con­sul­ta­tion with Trade Union and em­ployee rep­re­sen­ta­tives to pro­pose a re­struc­tur­ing of the man­u­fac­turer’s Ellesmere Port assem­bly plant. Opened in 1962, the site has pro­duced Vi­vas, Chevettes, Vec­tras and en­joyed a decade­long stint as the assem­bly hub for the leg­endary 54° V6 en­gine found in Vec­tras, Cava­liers, Cal­i­bras and Omegas. To­day, the 1.2­mil­lion m2 fa­cil­ity is ded­i­cated to As­tra K pro­duc­tion, with the vast ma­jor­ity of fin­ished ve­hi­cles wear­ing Opel badges be­fore be­ing read­ied for ex­port to main­land Europe.

The com­pany an­nounced re­struc­tur­ing at Ellesmere Port to align pro­duc­tion costs with 2019 fore­casts and plans. “Site com­pres­sion”, im­ple­men­ta­tion of new tech­nolo­gies and other trans­for­ma­tion ac­tiv­i­ties will have an im­pact on head­count, ne­ces­si­tat­ing a planned re­duc­tion of em­ploy­ees by 214 heads dur­ing the com­ing year.

Vauxhall says the changes are nec­es­sary to main­tain com­pet­i­tive­ness dur­ing a dif­fi­cult time within the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try. The com­pany was also keen to stress it is com­mit­ted to car­ry­ing out the changes with­out hav­ing to utilise com­pul­sory re­dun­dan­cies. In some cases, em­ploy­ees may be able to take ad­van­tage of re­lo­ca­tion pack­ages as­sist­ing a move from Ellesmere Port to the firm’s com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity in Lu­ton.

Col­lec­tive con­sul­ta­tions will take place for a min­i­mum of forty­five days in the hope Vauxhall can reach an agree­ment with Trade Union ex­ec­u­tives con­cern­ing re­dun­dan­cies and mit­i­gat­ing the con­se­quences of any such dis­missal. This ges­ture comes as lit­tle com­fort to Ellesmere Port em­ploy­ees in the weeks lead­ing up to Christ­mas.

Ill feel­ing was demon­strated by Ellesmere Port fac­tory staff who staged a mass walk­out im­me­di­ately af­ter hear­ing the news when it was an­nounced just as we were go­ing to press. The pro­posed changes to the plant fol­low Vauxhall­Opel’s rapid re­turn to profit af­ter be­ing sold as a loss­mak­ing con­cern to Groupe PSA by Gen­eral Mo­tors. Ellesmere Port has long been “the home of the As­tra” and is cur­rently ded­i­cated to As­tra K five­door and Sports Tourer pro­duc­tion. We’ll be sure to re­port back with fur­ther news as the story de­vel­ops.

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