Vauxhall to axe 400 jobs at Ellesmere Port plant

In the United Kingdom Vauxhall table on a plan of 400 voluntary departures

PSA has reportedly outlined plans to cut approximately 400 jobs at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory, where the Astra is made, by the end of the year.

Just under 1,800 people now work at the site, which produces around 680 Astras every day, and the workforce will be briefed on Monday morning.

PSA says that "challenging European market conditions and a declining passenger vehicle market" are to blame for the news, which will see voluntary layoffs being introduced as the factory moves to a single-shift production schedule.

Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port manufacturing plant is to cut some 400 jobs as it looks to improve its competitive position amid changes to demand in the European auto market.

The four millionth Vauxhall Astra rolled off the production line at the Ellesmere Port factory in September.

PSA also plans to cut the current two shifts at Ellesmere Port to just one, and aims to improve productivity and manufacturing costs which, say PSA, are "significantly higher" at Ellesmere Port than PSA's plants in France.

The issue of Brexit is also included in table of PSA's concerns, while European Union negotiator Michel Barnier noted Thursday a "disturbing impasse" in discussions of UK's exit from European Union.

"Ellesmere Port and Opel Gliwice have seen Astra volumes dive as consumers switch to SUVs and crossovers".

When PSA bought Vauxhall from General Motors earlier this year, UK Prime Minister Theresa May personally sought assurances from the French company's chief executive that investment in the UK plants would be maintained.

PSA said a weaker pound since the Brexit vote has also raised costs of importing components.

The decision to try and improve the Ellesmere Port plant's competitiveness is a decision that could prove beneficial to the company in the future. "Once it has sufficient visibility into future of trade relations with European Union, and issue of competitiveness of plant has been settled, company will be able to think about future investments", said Spokesperson for French group.

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