Stellantis safeguards Ellesmere Port with £100m investment
Car giant Stellantis is to invest £100m building electric vans at its Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire.
The company, formed out of the merger earlier this year of France’s PSA with Fiat Chrysler, said the plant will be its first to solely produce battery-electric models for its Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot and Citroen brands. The vans will be sold both domestically and overseas, with production due to start in 2022.
The Financial Times reported that the deal was secured after months of "intense" talks with ministers, and includes around £30m of government support. Stellantis has not disclosed details of any subsidiaries.
Carlos Tavares, chief executive, thanked the UK government "for their continued support", adding: "This £100m investment demonstrates our commitment to the UK and to Ellesmere Port.
"Since 1903 Vauxhall has manufactured vehicles in Britain and will continue to do so."
Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state for business, said: "Today’s decision will not only power Ellesmere Port into a clean future, but will secure thousands of jobs across the region in the supply chain."
The Ellesmere Port plant was built by Vauxhall in 1962, and produced its first car in 1964. Since then it has built over 5.2m vehicles. But in recent years production has been scaled back, and it now employs around 1,000 people compared to around 12,000 at its peak.
All 1,000 jobs are understood to be safeguarded by the new investment.
The overhaul of the site will include a new body shop, upgraded general assembly and the creation of on-site battery pack assembly. The plant will source cells needed to make up the batteries from European plants owned by ACC, a joint venture between ACC and Total, the French oil giant.