Why Ban On Petrol Cars Could Kill Off Vauxhall

Tue 19th Jan 2021

The UK government’s controversial decision to ban all new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 could have unintended consequences on the automotive industry in this country.

In the week that PSA Group merged with Fiat Chrysler to form  Stellantis, the company’s new CEO, Carlos Tavares has described the British Government’s decision as ‘Brutal’ and said that it could ‘destroy the business model’.

PSA Group acquired Vauxhall in 2017, but Tavares has said that a ban on all ICE cars could put the future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in danger.

“If a government creates a situation that destroys the business model, by saying ‘we’re going to ban the sale of that type of car’, we’re going to stop investing,” Tavares said in his first press conference as Stellantis boss.

“If we’re told that in 2030 internal combustion engines can't be sold in the UK, which we respect as a decision of the country, then we will not invest in combustion engines any more, and we will look to see if there is a business case to invest in other directions.

“We completely respect those rules and will completely comply with those rules, but if they lead to a case [where] there's no business model, it leads to a consequence that's clear for everybody.”

The future of Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant has been clouded in doubt for a number of years, with first Brexit and then COVID threatening the 1,100 jobs. But with the UK government unlikely to reverse their plans on a 2030 ban, the Astra production could be moved elsewhere.