Stellantis has confirmed that it will make Ellesmere Port a dedicated manufacturing facility for the production of Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen's all-electric vans.
A £100 million investment from the automotive manufacturing giant will transform the site into a centre of production for a range of zero emissions light commercial vehicles, incuding the Vauxhall and Opel branded Combo-e, Peugeot e-Partner, Peugeot e-Rifter, Citroën e-Berlingo and Citroën e-Berlingo models.
News of the plan, which follow Nissan’s EV-led investment in the future of its Sunderland plant last week, is expected to secure around 800 jobs.
It follows years of negotiations over the future of the site, centred on the ramifications of Brexit and, latterly, Government’s announcement that it would ban the sale of new purely petrol or diesel powered vehicles in 2030.
In a statement issued by Stellantis today (July 6), Stellantis chief executive Carlos Tavares prsuied the patience of the plant’s “highly skilled, dedicated workforce”.
Tavares said: “Performance is always the trigger for sustainability and this £100million investment demonstrates our commitment to the UK and to Ellesmere Port. I particularly want to thank our highly skilled, dedicated workforce for their patience and contribution; we never let them down.
“Equally, I want to thank our partners the Unite Union for their open mind set and strong cooperation and, of course, the UK Government for their continued support.
“Producing battery electric vehicles here will support clean, safe and affordable mobility for the citizens. Since 1903 Vauxhall has manufactured vehicles in Britain and we will continue to do so.”
The UK Government’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Kwasi Kwarteng, said: “Ellesmere Port’s proud tradition in auto manufacturing will continue for many years to come thanks to today’s investment.
“Stellantis’ decision to double down on their commitment to this site is a clear vote of confidence in the UK as one of the best locations globally for competitive, high-quality automotive production.
“Today’s decision will not only power Ellesmere Port into a clean future, but will secure thousands of jobs across the region in the supply chain.
“In this global race to secure electric vehicle production, we are proud to support Britain’s auto sector in this crucial transition as we work to build back better.”
Today’s ststament said that the investment in Ellesmere Port would bring the creation of a new body shop, upgraded general assembly, a compression of the site area and the creation of an on-site battery pack assembly.
In addition, there will be further support to enable a pathway to carbon neutrality for the plant by the middle of this decade, it said.
The plant aims to be 100% self-sufficient for electricity and work will commence imminently on potential wind and solar farms.
Stellantis also announced the intention to consult on further investment into the Ellesmere Port site with the creation of a new UK parts distribution centre.