Fleet News

Vauxhall to open international centre at Millbrook Park

VAUXHALL is to open a £5 million centre close to Millbrook proving ground, near Bedford, to accommodate multi-national engineering teams working on light commercial and recreational vehicles. The 'one centre of expertise' move underpins the manufacturer's commitment to the medium to heavy van sector, which it re-entered with rebadged Renault products, the 2.5-2.8-tonne Arena (Trafic) in 1997 and 3.5-tonne Movano (Master) in January this year.

Staff involved in the development of a Vauxhall/Renault joint venture replacement for the Arena van range have already begun to move into temporary accommodation at Millbrook Technology Park. When the centre is completed in about a year's time, it will house 75 staff, with some engineers relocating from Europe and Japan to join the team.

The new medium vans will be built at the Vauxhall-owned IBC plant in Luton from the end of next year, creating up to 600 new jobs. IBC has the capacity to produce 100,000 vehicles a year. Vauxhall Engineering Centre will work on bodyshell assembly solutions and on electrical, trim and chassis issues for existing and new products in association with Opel's technical development centre in Russelsheim, Germany and with strategic alliance partners such as Renault and Isuzu. It will also be involved in ongoing engineering work on the Frontera.

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