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Vauxhall might stop building cars in the UK

PSA boss says production could be moved overseas in the event of a no-deal Brexit

PSA-boss Carlos Tavares has told the Financial Times that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, production of Vauxhall cars could be moved overseas.

Tavares told the paper, “Frankly I would prefer to [build the Astra] in Ellesmere Port, but if the conditions are bad and I cannot make it profitable, then I have to protect the rest of the company and I will not do it”.

Ellesmere Port builds the Astra and Astra Sports Tourer. It employs around 1,000 people, and last year produced almost 80,000 cars. Its closure would leave Vauxhall’s plant in Luton, which builds the Vivaro van, as the company’s only manufacturing operation in the UK.

Tavares also told the FT that PSA, which also controls Peugeot, Citroen and DS, has already identified “an alternative to Ellesmere Port” in southern Europe.

PSA acquired Vauxhall and Opel in March 2017. Just one month ago, it confirmed plans to build the next-generation Astra in the UK at Ellesmere Port from 2021. However, said plans are “conditional on the final terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union”.

In May Honda confirmed it would close its Swindon factory when the current-generation Civic goes out of production in 2021, while Ford has said its Bridgend engine plant will close in 2020.

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