THE immediate future of Ellesmere Port’s Vauxhall plant has been secured after parent company PSA agreed a £30 billion merger deal with Fiat Chrysler, in a move that will create the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer.

The merger was confirmed on Wednesday, December 18, with the announcement confirming there would be no plant closures as a result of the deal.

That will come as a big comfort to workers at the Ellesmere Port plant, which has been hit by several rounds of job losses in recent years as PSA has made cost-cutting measures, with Brexit uncertainty having also played a role.

Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders welcomed the news.

He said: “The announcement that there are no plant closures expected as a result of this merger is good news for workers at the site and the wider local economy.

“The unions, workforce and management have pulled together tremendously for the challenges ahead to ensure that the site is in the best shape possible, whoever the owner is.

“As an iconic British brand, it is absolutely right that Vauxhall cars continue to be built in this country, and as we remain the only car plant in the new expanded group based in the UK, we will be continually reminding the new owners of the importance of this.

“Our ask of Government remains the same in that whatever trading arrangements are finally agreed with the EU they do not put the car industry and UK manufacturing more generally at a disadvantage.

“It is important that we get those assurances soon so that a final announcement on the next model of the Astra can be made.”

Carlos Tavares, chairman of the Managing Board of Groupe PSA, will become chief executive of the new company.

He said: “Our merger is a huge opportunity to take a stronger position in the auto industry as we seek to master the transition to a world of clean, safe and sustainable mobility and to provide our customers with world-class products, technology and services.

“I have every confidence that with their immense talent and their collaborative mindset, our teams will succeed in delivering maximised performance with vigor and enthusiasm.”

Mike Manley, CEO of FCA, added: “This is a union of two companies with incredible brands and a skilled and dedicated workforce.

“Both have faced the toughest of times and have emerged as agile, smart, formidable competitors. Our people share a common trait - they see challenges as opportunities to be embraced and the path to making us better at what we do.”