Fleet News

Vauxhall gets £189m UK plant boost

VAUXHALL is to invest £189 million in the UK - the majority on transforming Luton-based IBC Vehicles into a dedicated van plant for the production of a new medium-sized vehicle in a joint venture with Renault. In addition to the £130 million to be invested in gearing up the IBC plant for production of the yet-to-be-named Vauxhall van.

The new van replaces the Arena which was axed in the spring - the remaining cash will be spent on the Vectra plant in Luton, and at Ellesmere Port, where Astra, Astravan and V6 engines are already produced and where the Frontera 4x4 will be produced next year when output is switched from IBC Vehicles. The investment plan comes despite the strength of the Pound, which has been partially blamed for the struggles of and also comes just days before Ford is expected to announce the possible ceasing of vehicle production at Dagenham.

Vauxhall chairman and managing director Nick Reilly said: 'The investment is necessary to prepare us for new products and to improve further our productivity and cost competitiveness. When all the changes to our production operations are in place, we will be offering our UK customers the widest range yet of UK produced vehicles. While nothing is ever guaranteed, the greater productivity achieved by these changes obviously helps the prospect of maintaining employment in the future.'

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