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Watchdog clears the way for Vauxhall takeover

Cars at the Ellesmere Port plant Credit: PA Images

Europe's competition watchdog has waived through a £1.9 billion deal for French car giant PSA Group to buy Vauxhall owner Opel which employs 2,000 people at its site in Ellesmere Port.

The European Commission "unconditionally approved" the takeover, saying the tie-up raised no competition concerns.

PSA, which owns Peugeot and Citroen, agreed to buy the loss-making European arm of General Motors in March.

The move aimed to secure GM's exit from the UK and Europe while transforming PSA into Europe's second-largest car maker.

However, the takeover sparked concern in the UK about the impact on thousands of jobs at Vauxhall plants and supply companies.

The Vauxhall Astra is made at Ellesmere Port and a further 1,500 people produce the Vauxhall Vivaro van in Luton.

The competition referee said the combined market share of the two companies would be "relatively small" and the business would face "strong competition" from rival manufacturers such as Renault, Volkswagen, Daimler, Ford and Fiat.

It added that there was no issues surrounding the deal's impact on the wholesale and retail distribution markets.

Vauxhall is a major employer in the UK, with around 35,000 staff, including 23,000 in its retail network and 7,000 in its supply chain.

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Vauxhall workers remain 'hopeful' after sale

The French car giant PSA Group announced this morning that it is to buy the European operations of General Motors, including Vauxhall in Cheshire, for £1.9billion. Unions say they have been assured that the plant in Ellesmere Port will continue making the Astra until 2021. Workers say they are concerned but remain hopeful for their jobs.

French car giant agrees £1.9bn General Motors deal

Vauxhall plant in Cheshire Credit: Press Association

French car giant PSA Group is to buy the European operations of General Motors, including Vauxhall in the UK, for £1.9billion, the company has announced.

Unions say they have been assured that the Vauxhall plant in Cheshire will continue making the Astra until 2021 regardless of a takeover.

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5 million cars made at Ellesmere Port

Production line Credit: PA

With 5 millionth car will roll off the production line at Vauxhall, Ellesmere Port today. The company is celebrating 50 years of operation marking quite a turnaround from 2012 when it was saved from closure by a pioneering long-term deal with the unions.

The plant in Cheshire will be taking on 300 new workers who will start in Spring next year ahead of the production of the new Astra model.

Old meets new: Vauxhall celebrate 50th anniversary of first car at Ellesmere Port

First car meets the latest model Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Car maker Vauxhall are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first car at Ellesmere Port.

Workers have re-enacted the moment the first car came off the production line with the same signage and a white Vauxhall Viva alongside a new white Vauxhall Astra, the production car of 2014.

50 years of car making at Ellesmere Port

First car made at Ellesmere Port

Car maker Vauxhall are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their first car at Ellesmere Port. The plant in Cheshire came close to closure a couple of years ago. An agreement to build new Astra's safeguarded it's future.

Workers will re-enact the moment the first car came off the production line with the same signage and a white Vauxhall Viva alongside a new white Vauxhall Astra, the production car of 2014.

From June 1 1964 to date, Ellesmere Port has built nearly 5 million vehicles.

Vauxhall to be sentenced following worker's death

Ian Heard Credit: Health and Safety Executive

The owners of Vauxhall will appear before Liverpool Crown Court for sentencing following the death of a worker who was crushed in machinery at its factory in Ellesmere Port.

General Motors UK is being prosecuted by the Health and Saftety executive after 59 year old Ian Heard from Birkenhead died.

He had worked at the plant since he joined as an apprentice at 16.

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