Government confident of favourable outcome over future of Vauxhall plant

Vauxhall plant at Ellesmere Port
X The Business Desk

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The Government is confident it can strike a deal to guarantee the future of the Vauxhall car plant in Cheshire.

Business Secretary Kwarsi Kwarteng told MPs he is “very hopeful” and that “intensive dialogue” will continue with car group Stellantis over the coming days and weeks to secure around 1,000 jobs at the site near Ellesmere Port, plus many more in supply chains.

The plant makes the Astra model, which will come to the end of its production life this year.

Stellantis is keen for the Government to commit to financial backing to continue car manufacturing at the plant, with a shift to electric vehicle production high on the agenda.

This was influenced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last year to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.

Stellantis is also concerned, following Brexit, about a lack of battery production in the UK for electric vehicles which could fall foul of EU rules demanding local provision of parts to avoid tariffs on vehicles exported to Europe.

The car giant could opt to shut the plant and concentrate production on the European continent.

Mr Kwarteng, along with local authority leaders, has held several rounds of talks with Stellantis and said he is confident of a favourable outcome.

“I’m very hopeful that we can reach a satisfactory conclusion in terms of the continued investment and support for Stellantis,” he said.