A standard silver Astra 5dr has been causing more than a ripple of excitement at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility recently. A 1.6-litre model became the 4,000,000th vehicle to be produced at the plant that’s been assembling Vauxhalls version of perpetual motion for nearly forty years.
Since opening its tracks in 1962, Ellesmere has produced family classics such as the Viva and Chevette through to more modern vehicles like the Vectra along with engine production of the V6 EcoTec power units. Current Astra production started in late 2015 with the European Car of the Year award being bestowed upon it last year.
Each generation of Astra has been built here since 1979 and despite a reduction in headcount over the years the plant still employs some 3500 workers. Astra production is close to 200,000 units annually with its large proportion destined for export owing to the UK facility being the lead plant for Astra production.
Over £200 million has been invested in the plant in recent years and some impressive partnership has taken place with key suppliers in the name of quality and efficiency. One such example has been a totally new steel production and welding method that was developed jointly between Vauxhalls then owners GM and TATA steel.
Astra number 4,000,000 has reportedly been sold and is scheduled for delivery to its new owner in the West Yorkshire area. Lets hope the new PSA ownership recognises the hard work and effort of the companies sole remaining passenger car manufacturing in the UK to give a well deserved long term future for the plant.
Well done Ellesmere Port!
That’s brilliant news!!! 🙂
Lets hope the new owners (Peugeot Citroen) can see the bright future ahead for Vauxhall and Opel
A great car produced by what it seems by reading this a great factory. I have a leased sports tourer 1.6 diesel and it’s much better than I could ever have imagined with 60+ MPG on tap and oodles of power, great build quality and room to swallow up my family what more could I ask of Vauxhall…. well a lot when it come to their dealers… they are shockingly bad stuck in that ‘traditional’ way that drives this product into the ground i’m not talking about one bad one I’ve been to several over my Vauxhalls short life span mainly for servicing but other than a software glitch in the radio and a tyre valve issue it’s been fault free, however the after sales have not. The best one was being shouted at for asking when the car would be able to be collected ‘it’s done when it’s done mate we don’t get paid enough to rush your one through’ going through to ‘why do you think the software’s faulty you have probably been reading forums’ I kindly replied ‘the screen is frozen with the vauxhall logo and the indicators make a funny noise’. Finalising with trying to be charged for a service and then being asked to prove its a lease car with maintanence. The buck doesn’t stop with service parts are dreadful too, when you ask about accessories you might as well as be speaking into a dementer. Finally going through to sales, before I got a lease one I went to three dealers looking for a astra, I got offered one test drive in a GTC – yep not even the correct model just because that was not ‘blocked in’ according to the salesman. The lacking product knowledge and one salesman even telling me the Astra was built in Korea sums up my experience in one. Vauxhall great cars, dealers let’s start again.
Its Ryton on dunsmore just waiting to happen all over again.
I give it 2 years tops