In just 24 hours, Vauxhall’s two UK manufacturing plants both reached production milestones with the 250,000th Astra Sports Tourer rolling off the production line at Ellesmere Port and the Luton facility building its 900,000th Vivaro-type van.
Yesterday workers at Ellesmere Port, Britain’s number one manufacturer of estate cars, held a celebration at the end of the production line as the quarter of a millionth Astra Sports Tourer, the UK’s best-selling estate car, was driven off the production line. The Astra is consistently one of the UK’s best-selling cars with over 2.8 million sold since it went on sale in 1980 and 30,000 sold alone this year.
Then, less than 24 hours later, the Luton plant’s 900,000th Vivaro was handed over to the AA, one of Vauxhall’s biggest customers. AA patrol of the year Tony Rich, who will have the honour of driving the milestone van, received the keys on behalf of the AA.
Vauxhall is the UK’s number one commercial vehicle maker, a position the manufacturer has held for eleven years since Vivaro production started. The lynchpin of Vauxhall’s top-selling van range, over 150,000 Vivaros have been sold in the UK including 9,000 so far this year.
Both Vauxhall plants have been allocated new products securing production into the next decade. Ellesmere Port was awarded the accolade of lead European manufacturing plant for the next generation Astra, securing jobs and investment well into the next decade.
Both plants employ over 2,500 people in the Luton and Ellesmere Port areas, with indirect employment of a further 15,000. The Luton plant built 53,000 vans in 2012, 22,000 so far this year and is currently running at a rate of 198 per day. Ellesmere Port manufactured 95,000 vehicles last year and 37,000 so far in 2013 at a rate of 530 per day.