Stellantis UK boss explains the delay in Ellesmere Port decision Car News

Stellantis is still assessing the feasibility of maintaining its Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, and UK managing director Alison Jones has explained the main considerations at play as talks with the government continue.

Speaking at the annual SMMT summit, Jones laid bare the problems facing the Cheshire site, where the Vauxhall Astra wagon has been produced since 1991.

Stellantis has already confirmed that the next generation of Astra, expected in the coming months, will be built in two factories: Rüsselsheim in Germany and a European site to be confirmed.

“In terms of the attractiveness of manufacturing in the UK, there are decisions about how to manufacture, how to trade and where the customer base is,” Jones explained.

“The decision for any factory is the cost of energy, which we know is different in the UK from other places in the world; the cost of staff and employees; and logistics to move your components to be able to build. So you have this practicality, and then you have this proximity with your suppliers and your customers.

“We build carbon calculations into every decision we make, so that’s a key piece. After Brexit, we have an agreement that runs until 2023 around rules of origin – which then changes in 2027.

“When you think of EVs, the ability to source batteries close to where you make them, and then tie them to tariffs that might or might not be imposed as we go along, is key. and a consideration.

“And then of course where our customers are and the logistics of moving vehicles from their place of manufacture to customers. Those three things are considerations in deciding where we build.”

Jones’ comments came as Automotive News Europe announced that the future of the Ellesmere Port plant was secure. Citing a source at the manufacturer, the site said Stellantis may allocate production of electric vans to Ellesmere Port to supplement production of ICE-powered vans at Luton.

An official announcement regarding the plant’s future is yet to come, but Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares recently said he expects “a number of approvals to be given by the British administration “which will allow the plant to remain commercially viable.

Stellantis now offers six electric vans on the e-CMP architecture: the Citroën ë-Berlingo, Peugeot e-Partner and Opel Combo-e and the biggest Citroënn ë-Shipping, Peugeot e-Expert and Opel Vivaro-e.

Each of the six commercial electric vehicles is also offered as a minivan variant for passenger transport, although it is not yet confirmed which, if any, are intended for production at Ellesmere Harbor.


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This notice was published: 2021-06-29 12:28:17

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