News : PSA confirms continued van production in Luton

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Vauxhall’s new parent company, PSA Group, has confirmed that it will continue building vans at its Luton factory. Carlos Tavares, PSA’s Chairman, announced that the company would be investing heavily in the factory and that the UK Government would be contributing around £9m to the deal. Although PSA hasn’t confirmed what it’s spending on Luton, it’s thought to be more than £100m in the first instance.

The decision to build the next Vivaro van at Luton is good news, but not unexpected. PSA sold a record 476,500 LCVs in 2017, which is an increase of 15% on 2016, and adding in passenger car derivatives (the Citroën SpaceTourer and Peugeot Traveller), the Group sold 658,000 units during the same period. More capacity in the UK, and Vauxhall’s strong market position make this a logical business decision.

The move will calm the fears of so-called Remainers, as the continued Vauxhall production takes place despite what Tavares describes as Brexit uncertainties.

Good news for Luton’s workforce

The deal secures the jobs of the 1400-strong workforce beyond 2030 and confirms that PSA is committed to the future of both Vauxhall and Opel, with a forward model plan that will see an accelerated move to the French company’s platforms for all models.

Vauxhall says tha,t once up to speed, Luton production will increase from the current level of 60,000 Opel/Vauxhall Vivaros per year to something around 100,000 vans based on PSA Group’s EMP2 platform. Expect the a PSA-based Vivaro to roll out of Luton in 2019, once the current Renault-based model is phased out.

According to a statement issued by Vauxhall, ‘the investment in Luton is driven through a performance plan negotiated between the Unite Trade Union and the Luton plant, combined with its recognised know-how in the manufacture of light commercial vehicles and the flexibility of its existing paint shop. With this initiative, the EMP2 platform for LCV will be localised by mid-2019, as part of the convergence on PSA Group technology.’


Keith Adams

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
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  1. Perhaps they are just softening up the UK public so that they can announce the closure of Ellesmere Port in 2020 without too much uproar.

    • Why would PSA need to soften anyone up? This is a commercial decision (with some government intervention presumably), Ellesmere Port is a completely separate decision.

  2. Excellent news, as it wasn’t at all certain that PSA would continue UK production, seeing that their current medium vans are produced in France and Italy in a JV with Fiat. I guess buoyant PSA sales in this sector of the market helped, as they need the capacity. The Vivaro thus continues as the ONLY British made van

    The current Vivaro (based on the Trafic 3) only came out in 2014 so will have a short production life.

  3. Good news indeed, probably made possible by the fact that all other PSA vans (Peugeot Expert and Citroën Jumpy) are to be made at Luton too and that they are basically the same vehicle. Economies of scale can then easily be achieved by combining their production for the UK at Luton, without risks of currency fluctuations and import duties.

    Unfortunately the same won’t be true for the next Astra and it’s EMP2 siblings, as those are far more differentiated. So still a lot of gloom over Ellesmere Port I’m afraid…

  4. Perhaps the same could be done at Ellesmere Port for the new Vauxhall Combo, Citroën Berlingo and Peugeot Partner?

  5. Good news, but remember vans are highly profitable – they are cheap to make and you can sell them for a decent wad of money because the commercial vehicle market isn’t anywhere near as incentive driven as the private car market. Ford’s most profitable vehicle in Europe is the Transit! And globally I think it is second or third only after the F150 pick-up truck in America. So no real surprises to be honest. I agree with others that this is by no means a barometer for what will happen at Ellsemere Port.

  6. Transit sadly moved to Turkey.
    More cap-in-hand to foreign manufacturers. This is what happens when you get rid of UK owned manufacturing. Brexit will make this worse. GKN is just the beginning as we flog off more to keep the short term city wide boys.

  7. I notice the red Vivaro van is wearing GB/EU logo style number plates – co-incidence?
    However it looks a decent Van and I wish the company well. I really hope Ellesmere Port doesn’t get the chop though.

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