A DECISION on the future of Ellesmere Port's Vauxhall plant is unlikely to be made before the end of the year.

Carlos Tavares, chief executive of parent company PSA Group, reportedly said today (March 3) that he is "eager" to invest in the North Road site, but only if there is a business case for it.

The future of the plant, which employs more than 1,000 workers, is likely to be dependant on the outcome of Brexit deal talks between the UK Government and the European Union, and its subsequent impact on the French carmaker's profitability.

Mr Tavares does not believe they will be in a position to make a call before the end of the year.

He was speaking to journalists today on a conference call which was organised after the Geneva Motor Show was cancelled due to coronavirus.

Mr Tavares had been scheduled to talk at an event during this year's show.

Back in December, the immediate future of the plant was secured after parent company PSA agreed a £30 billion merger deal with Fiat Chrysler, in a move that created the world’s fourth largest car manufacturer.

The announcement confirmed there would be no plant closures as a result of the deal.

Last week, PSA said profitability reached a record high in 2019.

The firm, which also owns Peugeot, Citroen and Opel, reported that its operating margins reached 8.5% last year.

Revenues were up 1% compared with the previous 12 months to 74.7 billion euros (£62.8 billion).