Vauxhall Production To Return In August

Wed 15th Jul 2020

Workers at one of the biggest car production facilities in the UK have received a boost after Vauxhall bosses announced that the Ellesmere Port plant would reopen.

There had been serious concerns surrounding the viability of the plant in the North West of England, with reports earlier in the week suggesting that the site would not open until September at the earliest, with the 1,000 workers having being furloughed since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Vauxhall’s parent company Groupe PSA, which closed all of its plants in March, has announced a date of 17th August for the factory to reopen.

Yann Vincent, EVP manufacturing of Groupe PSA said: "As industrial activity is driven by commercial activity, we are gradually and safely resuming our industrial activity at Ellesmere Port on 17 August.

"I would particularly like to praise the contribution of the Ellesmere Port employees who have supported the ramp-up of the production of Luton plant with a temporary transfer.

"This is a strong illustration that, together with Unite the Union, we have succeeded to protect both our employees and our operations in the UK in the difficult context of the Covid-19 crisis.”

The global pandemic has had a major impact on the motoring industry, with significant drops in demand and a disruption to the supply chain cited as major reasons for the automotive world grinding to a halt. But while most the major automotive factories in the UK had returned to work following an easing of the lockdown, there had always been a question mark over when Vauxhall would return.

"Our strengthened health procedures provide a high level of protection to our employees and this is the first consideration for restarting our manufacturing sites,” said Mark Noble, director of the Ellesmere Port site.
"Since the shutdown of the site on 17 March, a reinforced Health & Safety Barrier protocol has been implemented in the Plant with the full involvement of Unite the Union. 

"This fully complies with the standards set by both Groupe PSA and also the UK Government.

"This Health & Safety Barrier protocol was validated by a Groupe PSA audit that took place on 24 April 2020, which enables the resumption of production of the Astra on 17 August, in a progressive and safe manner."