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Ellesmere Port is competitive

GM has announced that its Vauxhall Ellesmere Port factory is now competitive with its other plants around Europe.

This means Cheshire jobs at the factory could be secured past the current Astra model.

Jon Browning, Vauxhall chairman and GM Europe marketing chief, said: “Improvements in working practices and productivity after a move to a two-shift working pattern and 1,000 redundancies have greatly boosted the plant’s competitiveness.

“This is a critical year for the plant’s future, which was in doubt as little as 12 months ago. The future of Ellesmere Port is tied to a decision in mid-2007 as to which plants will get the investment for the next-generation Astra, due around 2009/10.”

Ellesmere Port is in competition with Bochum in Germany and Antwerp in Belgium. The Belgian plant received a boost last week when it was announced as the source for up to 40,000 Saturn-badged Astras a year to be exported to the US from next autumn. Antwerp was chosen because it makes a full-line of hatchback Astras, including the three-door model not built at Ellesmere Port.

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