The future of Vauxhall's Luton plant has been assured by parent company PSA Group, following confirmation of an investment which will see the facility produce a brand new version of the Vivaro van from 2019.
PSA says it's aiming to strengthen its market position in Europe while accelerating growth in other regions. In 2017, it reported record LCV sales of 476,500 units, an increase of 15% on 2016. Adding in passenger car derivatives (Peugeot Traveller and Citroën SpaceTourer, for example), the Group sold a total of 658,000 units.
The investment in Luton is driven through a performance plan negotiated between the Unite Trade Union and the Luton plant (UK) which will see the EMP2 platform for LCV localised by mid-2019, as part of the convergence on PSA Group technology.
The performance plan is said to have been facilitated by both the 'responsible social dialogue with the Unite union guaranteeing production flexibility and the support of the UK Government and Luton Borough Council, despite Brexit uncertainties'.
In 2017, the plant produced 60,000 Opel/Vauxhall Vivaros. The investment aims at increasing production capacity to 100,000 vehicles per year based on PSA Group’s EMP2 platform.
“Performance is the trigger for sustainability and I would like to thank all stakeholders involved and underline the open mindset of our union partners, as well as that of the UK Government. This is a major milestone for the future of the Luton plant and a key enabler to serve our ambitions in the commercial vehicle market, guaranteeing customers the best offering in this segment” said Carlos Tavares, Chairman of the managing Board PSA Group
“This excellent news for Luton is also a clear demonstration that our PACE! Plan is being executed across all European countries. It is also a clear recognition of the skilled people who have customer satisfaction at the core of their priorities. As we have often stated, we have our future in our own hands and we need to unleash the full potential of the employees” said Michael Lohscheller, CEO of Opel/Vauxhall.