Media reports suggest Stellantis will decide on the future of its Vauxhall Ellesmere Port plant in the next few days.
A decision on future investment is imminent, a spokesman for the automaker has told Automotive News Europe.
The factory employs about 1,000 workers making Astra cars and about a third of them commute from Wales.
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said some months ago that he had to decide if it was viable to keep investing in the UK after Brexit and wanted to see the outcome of the split from EU before deciding.
More recently, he commented that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to ban gasoline and diesel cars from 2030 could be “a problem.”
“You put your investment close to the market where you sell the highest volume,” Tavares said in January. Given that, he asked rhetorically: “What is left for the UK?”
Stellantis, formed from the merger of PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, also makes commercial vehicles at a factory in Luton, England.
The UK car industry averted disaster with the trade agreement reached in late December, but its prospects are far from certain. After passenger-vehicle production plunged to a 36-year low last year, automakers now face more onerous customs procedures and requirements to source higher portions of components locally to avoid tariffs.
“If you look at it from a pure logistic perspective or from a paperwork perspective, perhaps it’s better to put it in continental Europe,” Tavares said last month. “It depends also on the UK government’s willingness to protect some kind of automotive industry in its own country.”
Another report suggests that the plan for Mitsubishi to pull out of Europe might be reversed as parent Renault looks at the practicality of making their small cars in a French plant alongside another model and so dramatically cut costs and free up money which would have been paid in duties or tariffs.
- Click to print (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)