IBC, a GM subsidiary, has invested £185m in production facilities for the new joint venture. Maximum annual production is expected to be around 86,000 units.
The Vivaro/Trafic will go on sale in the second half of 2001. Vauxhall and sister company Opel anticipate half-year sales of 20,000 units across Europe.
The 2.8-tonne Vivaro is front wheel drive and has a choice of two different length wheelbases.It will be launched with two 1.9 turbo diesel engines with common rail injection (80bhp and 100bhp) and a 2.0-litre petrol unit (120bhp). A 2.5-litre turbo diesel will be added later.
One unusual feature is the dome-shaped cab, which improves headroom and visibility as well as making access easier.