on the all-new replacement Vectra is well under way at GM’s UK Ellesmere Port
plant near Cheshire – with the first pilot cars scheduled to roll from the new
assembly line by the end of the year.

The UK subsidiary attracted considerable criticism last year when, as part
of GM’s world-wide cuts, it announced the early-2002 axing of Vectra production
at the almost century-old Vauxhall car assembly plant at Luton, north of London.

While the flak was still flying, the company announced that the next-generation
Vectra would be produced at the newer Ellesmere Port plant on Merseyside, alongside
the Astra. The new Vectra will be built with a number of GM badges including
Vauxhall, Opel and Holden.

A 55,000 square metre area is being cleared ready for a new body unit, which
will house 400 robots. The project is part of a £200 million ($US287 million)
investment to turn Ellesmere Port into a ‘flexi-plant’ – a multi-model
factory which can quickly and easily adjust its model mix to suit demand.

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