PSA confirms Vivaro will come to Luton but not Ellesmere's fate
Vauxhall’s parent group PSA will manufacture the new Vivaro van at its Luton plant from next year.
Vauxhall’s parent group PSA will manufacture the new Vivaro van at its Luton plant from next year as part of wider plans to strengthen its share of the LCV market.
The move will see the number of vans manufactured at the plant rise from 59,000 a year to 100,000 and secure around 1,400 jobs at the plant.
The new Vivaro van, which will replace the current model from 2019, will be manufactured at Luton until at least 2029, PSA Group said. It will use the EMP2 platform that underpins the Citroen Dispatch and Peugeot Expert Vans.
Announcing the deal the French manufacturing giant said it will invest £100m in the plant, including £9m of investment from the UK government and will increase production capacity.
Business Secretary Greg Clark described the decision as a "vote of confidence" in British car making, with the Luton jobs secured until at least 2030.
PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares said: “This investment in upgrading the production platform will safeguard and grow jobs, ensuring the future of the Luton plant well into the next decade and help ensure the plant is well positioned for future Vauxhall models to be made in the UK.
He added: “This is a major milestone for the future of the Luton plant and a key enabler to serve our ambitions in the commercial vehicle market."
The news allayed fears that production at the plant was set to move to either Germany or Poland. PSA said the fact that the Luton plant already has a paintshop, unlike rival plants, swung the decision in its favour.
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said the deal was “great news” for the Luton plant and the UK automotive sector.
The union Unite also hailed the deal. General Secretary Len McCluskey said: “This is a very welcome investment in Luton by PSA, and a deserving tribute to a dedicated workforce. It will steady nerves at the plant after years of uncertainty.
However, referring to Tavares warning last year that Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant is threatened by high manufacturing costs and Brexit, McCluskey, added: “The investment into Luton is very welcome, but we do expect to hear of similar plans for Ellesmere Port, where the workforce has been just as loyal and is just as deserving of a secure future but continues to live with a cloud hanging over it.”
The deal provides a much needed boost for UK van manufacturing.UK van manufacturing fell by 16.7% last year, with vans for the domestic market down by 25% and vehicles for export down 10% year-on-year.
By Carol Millett