PRODUCTION of electric cars could save Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory, with ministers set the task of creating a plan to secure its future.
The future of the Cheshire factory, which produces the Vauxhall Astra, has come into doubt in recent months since Opel Vauxhall was sold to Groupe PSA by General Motors last year — with 400 jobs cut at the plant in autumn.
Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere Port & Neston, has pleaded with the government to work with the motoring industry to save the facility — suggesting electric vehicles could be the way forward with the factory positioned as a hub for Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen electrified vehicle production.
Speaking to The Times, Madders said: “There is plenty of money being made available [by the Treasury] for electric vehicles, but that focus has been on investment in charging points or on research and development. We are making the argument that this money should be made available for manufacturing, too.”
Groupe PSA has consistently claimed to be giving Ellesmere Port its full backing.
Following the announcement of 400 jobs being cut, it said: “PSA Group has affirmed its commitment to the Astra plant at Ellesmere Port.
The company has every confidence in the capability and skills of the Ellesmere Port workforce to deliver the necessary improvements in financial performance.
“Once it has enough visibility on the future trading relationship with the EU, and the plant competitiveness has been addressed, the company will be in a position to consider future investments.”