Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Vauxhall to build new Vivaro van in Luton, saving more than 1,000 jobs

Motor giant Vauxhall is to build a new van at its Luton plant, safeguarding more than 1,000 jobs in the process.

The firm's French parent company PSA announced the significant investment on Wednesday and promised to increase production capacity at the plant, despite ongoing concerns about Brexit.

The new Vivaro van will replace the current model from 2019.

Around 1,400 jobs have been secured as a result of the investment. Credit: PA

Around 59,000 vans a year are currently built at the plant, but that number will rise to 100,000 a year under the new deal.

Around 1,400 jobs have been saved in total, and it's expected that more roles will be created to meet the production requirements.

Business Secretary Greg Clark described the decision as a "vote of confidence" in British carmaking, with the Luton jobs secured until at least 2030.

PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares addresses the media in Luton. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"This investment in upgrading the production platform will safeguard and grow jobs, ensuring the future of the Luton plant well into the next decade and help ensure the plant is well positioned for future Vauxhall models to be made in the UK," Mr Clark said.

PSA chief executive Carlos Tavares added: "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."

PSA company officials said they did have the option to build the new van in Germany or Poland, but decided against moving production to Europe due to the fact that Luton is the only plant with a paintshop.

Around 100,000 vans a year will be built at the plant. Credit: PA

Vauxhall have been based in Luton since 1905 and the 'Unite' union says that it's great news that vehicles will continue to be built in the town.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

"This is a very welcome investment in Luton by PSA, and a deserving tribute to a dedicated workforce. It will steady nerves at the plant after years of uncertainty," General secretary Len McCluskey said.

"Vauxhall is a highly regarded British brand with over a century of motor manufacturing, with a strong and loyal UK customer following.

"Add to this the excellent productivity at our plants and the case for PSA to build a long-term home in the UK is a compelling one."