Economy

PSA says to cut about 400 jobs at Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port

Vauxhall workers will hear on Monday that almost a quarter of jobs at the company's Ellesmere Port site are being cut as the carmaker adapts to the decline of the traditional family vehicle and rising costs.

Just under 1,800 people now work at the site, which produces around 680 Astras every day, and the workforce will be briefed this morning.

About 400 of the 1,800 jobs at the site are expected to go by Christmas, largely via voluntary redundancies, as demand for the Astra continues to slip in favour of chunkier and trendier SUVs.

The French firm took over Vauxhall in August but have taken the decision amid the ongoing uncertainty about the UK's plans to leave the European Union. The voluntary redundancies planned for the Ellesmere Port plant in northwest England are in response to "challenging European market conditions and a declining passenger vehicle market", he told AFP.

PSA also plans to cut the current two shifts at Ellesmere Port to just one, and aims to improve productivity and manufacturing costs which, say PSA, are "significantly higher" at Ellesmere Port than PSA's plants in France. The company will discuss the plan with employee representatives during a 45-day consultation period.

"The company has every confidence in the capability and skills of the Ellesmere Port workforce to deliver the necessary improvements in financial performance", PSA Group said in a statement.

The Astra is the sixth most popular new vehicle for United Kingdom motorists this year, with more than 34,000 registered between January and July.

The European Commission approved a £1.9bn deal in July for French vehicle giant PSA Group to buy Opel, which owns Vauxhall, Peugeot and Citroen.

The move aimed to secure GM's exit from the United Kingdom and Europe while transforming PSA into Europe's second-largest auto maker.

The takeover raised concerns in the United Kingdom about the impact on jobs at Vauxhall plants and supply companies.



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