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Vauxhall vows to carry on with UK plant, but uncertainty remains

The future of hundreds of jobs for people in North East Wales is uncertain after Vauxhall parent Opel this week announced details of a voluntary severance scheme in Russelsheim, Germany which shares Astra production with Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.

It has been known since spring last year that 2,100 jobs would be going in Germany when Opel produce the next generation Astra and it raised concerns for Ellesmere Port, which also assembles Astra models.

Now Opel has said it will offer enhanced redundancy packages and guarantee some jobs for five years in Germany after consultations with the plant’s works council.

However, the company statement made no mention of Ellesmere Port, which employs 1,051 including about 500 from North Wales, and afterwards a spokesman for Vauxhall said:

The allocation of a new vehicle to Ellesmere Port continues to be contingent on the terms of the future trading relationship between the UK and the European Union and ensuring that Groupe PSA can make a profitable investment.”

Previously, there were hopes that Ellesmere Port might be getting more production under the Groupe PSA model structure which uses common platforms underneath models from its Peugeot, Citroen, DS, Vauxhall and Opel marques.

The plant might be ideally placed to assemble all right-hand drive models of the brands for UK and former Commonwealth countries, bringing huge numbers into the North West England plant close to Chester.
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