GM signals bright future for Ellesmere Port plant

General Motors (GM) has now entered the consultation phase concerning the future of each of its European plants as it firms up its plan for the development of Vauxhall and Opel. Having reversed its decision to sell its British and German brands to the component supplier Magna, GM now has to execute a turnaround for its European operations itself.

For Ellesmere Port the news seems to be very good. Vauxhall's main UK plant had been facing a modest headcount reduction under Magna but now GM is suggesting that redundancies can be avoided altogether at Ellesmere Port by producing the forthcoming estate version of the new Astra there from 2010 and adding a third shift to the plant's working pattern from 2011.

Overall, GM seems to be proposing job cuts of a similar magnitude to those planned by Magna; the main difference appears to be that while GM, like Magna, will retain all four German Opel production sites, these will now bear a bigger share of the cuts.