Opel/Vauxhall confirms Luton plant to build next-generation Vivaro
Planned production for the new vehicle, which like the current model has been jointly developed with Renault, will take place in both Britain and France from 2013.
The GM Luton plant will build Opel and Vauxhall-badged Vivaro variants, while the Renault plant in Sandouville, near Le Havre in northern France, will build Renault Trafic versions. Sandouville will also build high-roof (H2) variants of the new van for Renault, Vauxhall and Opel as the paint shop at the Luton plant does not have enough headroom to accommodate the high-roof models.
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said: 'This is excellent news.
'Last year I stood in the House of Commons and said that we would be prepared to assist General Motors in its efforts to restructure its European operations, playing our part to put them on a sustainable footing. In the event that help was not needed.
'But our continued close relationship with GM, borne out of that commitment, has paid dividends today, with the announcement that Luton will build the next-generation Vivaro.
'Luton is one of GM's best-performing plants in Europe, with a workforce second to none, and it is absolutely right that those qualities have been recognised today.
'1,500 jobs at the plant and in its supply chain have been preserved, and the plant's future is now assured beyond 2020.'
Trade union Unite greeted the announcement, with general secretary Len McCluskey commenting: 'This is fantastic news. It secures the future of Vauxhall in Luton and puts to rest any uncertainty over jobs. Without a new model Luton would have closed, instead the plant has work until at least 2020 and 1,500 jobs have been secured.
'The efforts of Vauxhall’s chairman, Nick Reilly, were pivotal in securing an agreement with Renault and we are extremely grateful for the part he played. This decision is also down to the hard work of the workforce and savings they helped deliver.'