General Motors’ decision to site its next generation Opel/Vauxhall Vivaro production in the English town of Luton will see the automaker aiming to source “significant” parts and production equipment from the UK supply chain.
The Luton plant decision – that will secure around 1,500 jobs until 2020 – will mean the manufacturer ploughs EUR130m (US$212m) into the plant with EUR50m dedicated to tooling.
With the decision to build the Vivaro in the UK rather than at partner Renault’s factory in Sandouville, Opel/Vauxhall says it is looking to drive the British supply chain.
“We will be doing everything we can to encourage suppliers to source their components here in the UK, so it is not just an opportunity for the Luton plant, it is an opportunity for the supply chain,” said Opel/Vauxhall CEO Nick Reilly.
The specifics of that supply base are still being negotiated jointly with Renault, with sources close to Vauxhall telling just-auto today (25 March) that where parts are required in the UK, that they ideally should originate in the UK.
And where joint sourcing with French companies could be involved, encouragement will be given to cross-Channel suppliers to set up in the UK.
Emphasising it was the “right business decision,” Reilly insisted there had been “no favouritism” to Luton noting there were “various different options,” although he praised the ability of the Luton workforce to secure the contract.
“It is always positive [when] a British plant can earn its way into creating new jobs,” he said.
Vivaro build is slated to start in 2013, with Renault producing the Trafic van model in Sandouville, as well as the next generation H2 (high roof) version of the Vivaro.
Reilly also earned rare praise yesterday (24 March) from UK union Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, who singled out the Opel/Vauxhall CEO for his personal efforts in the deal.