10 December 2014

Vauxhall makes five million at Ellesmere Port

Vauxhall celebrates a milestone, as the five-millionth car rolled off the production line at the Ellesmere Port plant.

IT has been just over half a century ago since Vauxhall’s parent company General Motors, opened the plant in Merseyside back in 1964. The first car to be rolled off the production line was the Viva. This week, Vauxhall has made their five-millionth car at the factory.

Other cars that Vauxhall have built at the Merseyside plant are: the Chevette, the Vectra, and the best-known one is the Astra. The Astra is only the model by Vauxhall that is currently assembled at the plant, and they are proud to say that Ellesmere Port is 'Home of the Astra'.

GM were in a bit of a rut a couple of years ago after filing for bankruptcy. The future looked uncertain for Vauxhall and for the workers at the Ellesmere Port plant. There was speculations that the plant would close or be sold off by GM. Thanks to the US government bailing them out and GM committing its future to the UK, the Ellesmere Port factory has remained in place.

The European division of GM (Vauxhall-Opel) is held accountable for turning round the General's fortunes. GME (General Motors Europe) is the core part of General Motors' business structure. This is one the reasons that they've decided on continuing the production of the Astra in Ellesmere Port.

On average through the plant's existence of over a half a century, 100,000 cars have been manufactured at Ellesmere Port every year. It is reported that the plant helps produce a car every two minutes, three in four cars that are made there are exported out of the UK.

GM has invested £140million into the factory, and they've also confirmed the next generation Astra from 2015 will be assembled in Merseyside. That is great news in securing the future for the 1800 workers at the plant. Furthermore, 300 jobs have been created to cope with extra demand.

Vauxhall has raised a toast with this video. From Viva to Astra, with a montage of cars that have been made in Ellesmere Port. Oh, and look out for Paul Swift (son of the legendary Russ Swift) driving an Astra on TWO wheels.

Congratulations Vauxhall! Here's to another five million...

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