Falling sales force week-long closure at car plant


Staff reporter

FALLING car sales in Europe mean production at the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port will stop for one week later this month.

Demand for new cars across the continent has failed to pick up as manufacturers had hoped, leaving many with unsold stock.

Vauxhall’s parent company General Motors has announced its sites in Ellesmere Port and Luton will both stage ‘down weeks’ from September 24.

Company bosses said the full week’s shutdown would replace the occasional ‘down days’ scheduled to be staged in the month.

Workers at the Ellesmere Port factory will continue to be paid while production is on hold.

A company spokesman said: “As a major exporter and following the downturn in mainland Europe, Vauxhall manufacturing operations in Ellesmere Port and in Luton are implementing a down week beginning September 24.

“This is to avoid building up stock by balancing inventory with customer orders.”

Less than four months ago the Ellesmere Port site was chosen to build the next-generation Astra car.

General Motors also announced the factory would be given a third shift, preserving 2,100 jobs and creating hundreds more.

Trade union Unite said it was not surprised by the move as the plant has staged regular ‘down days’ and it does not believe there is any threat to the long-term future of the site.

Business consultants Alix Partners expects new car deliveries in western Europe to fall by 800,000 this year.

Renault, Fiat and Ford have all announced shutdowns at European factories in recent weeks.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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