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GM plays down media reports of UK plant closures

GM UK has played down reports from Sky News that its Ellesmere Port and Luton factories would close if funding from the German government could not be secured.

GM UK said: “Vauxhall is a very strong and successful brand in the UK and there are no plans for it to be axed.

“The decision to continue manufacturing operations in the UK was reviewed two years ago and this has proved to be the correct decision.”

The company said both factories are “very lean and efficient and as a result Ellesmere Port remains the lead production plant for the next generation Astra that is scheduled for launch in the third quarter of 2009”.

Carl-Peter Forster, head of GM Europe, told Sky News this morning that there were not many options left open for Vauxhall.

He said: "Obviously the next step would be the complete closure. That's what we try and avoid. But if we don't get support from the Government we will have to close down."

Forster also said he had received "positive signals" from the German government regarding the prospect of financial aid.

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