Vauxhall’s two UK factories, in Ellesmere Port and Luton could be closed after Brexit, according to a report by Automotive News Europe.
PSA is said to be weighing up a decision to shut one or both of the UK facilities down should car demand slump after Britain leaves the European Union. The source that revealed the news to the site didn’t want to be identified, but is said to be close to the matter.
PSA and its subsidiaries currently employs around 3,000 people in the UK. The Ellesmere Port factory builds the Vauxhall Astra – mainly the sports tourer estate variant but 650 jobs have been cut at the north west facility.
The Luton plant meanwhile makes medium-sized vans and will build the new Vivaro from next year. PSA has also invested 100 million Euros in the factory as well.
A drop in diesel popularity, along with Brexit doubts, have led to a drop in car sales in the UK this year. Registrations of new cars are down 7.2%, with PSA’s being hit too – Vauxhall sales have dropped by 11% according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
Approximately 80% of the vehicles produced in the UK are exported, with half of those exports currently going to the EU. The UK also counts for 10% of PSA’s global sales.
As well as looking at factory closures, PSA is also said to be working on other Brexit plans. The company is considering stockpiling parts should Brexit negotiations result in a ‘no-deal’. It could also bring forward its summer shutdown, much like BMW is planning with its Mini factory in Oxford.
However, despite the speculation PSA is so far refusing to comment on its Brexit plans.
“We do not want to comment at this stage on Brexit process and its assessment by Groupe PSA as it is not the final step for implementation,”
Vauxhall said in an emailed statement to Automotive News Europe. “We are working in an agile mode, as usual, and we have several solutions to address different scenarios.”