The new generation of Opel Astra will only be produced in the UK plant in Vauxhall if a satisfactory Brexit agreement is reached. This was stated by the owner of the plant, the French group PSA Peugeot-Citröen.
The PSA further informed that it will invest in Opel's factory in Rüsselsheim, Germany, where Opel Astra will be produced since 2021. However, its decision is conditioned by the adoption of a new trade-union agreement with the trade unions. This refers to working procedures and conditions.
Currently, Opel Astra is produced at the British Port of Ellesmere Port in Cheshire, as well as in the Polish town of Gliwice.
The PSA Group noted that the final decision to manufacture a new generation of this model at Ellesmere Port, which was opened in 1962, will depend on the terms of future exit agreements from the UK and the European Union, as well as the approval of a new vehicle agreement negotiated with Unite. Industrial sources say the minimum for the PSA is an obligation for uninterrupted trade after Brexit.
Creating a new model in Ellesmere Port will help secure the plant's future, which is uncertain as the PSA took control of Vauxhall in 2017. According to the original plan, Ellesmere Port should become one of two factories that will produce the new Aster from 2021,
The plant is currently producing an older version of Astra but its sales dropped, and the number of employees at the factory fell to almost half of the takeover.
British car production falls for about a year because of the uncertainty of Brexit. The British automotive industry has received a string of hits in recent months when Honda announced it would close its factory in Swindon in 2021.
Ford also said that its Bridgend engine factory in southern Wales will close in September 2020, losing 1700 jobs.
Japanese manufacturers, including Nissan, warned the London government after the referendum that uncertainty surrounding Brexit does not help "plan the future." At the beginning of this year, Nissan finally decided to produce another X-Trail in Japan, not Sunderland. (Guardian, Tasr)