Vauxhall Motors Limited has launched the first Sustainability Report to be produced by a UK motor company, including the final profit figures for 1999.

For the first time all the information about the company's activities is included in one all-encompassing report. Financial reports, environmental data and product performance information is included together with details of Vauxhall's involvement in its local and national communities.

This reflects the three key pillars of sustainability, all of which are considered central to a successful company: economic, environmental and social responsibility.

"Sustainability is not an easy concept to grasp, and this report is the next step for Vauxhall. We are making good progress towards our objectives of consolidating our economic position, whilst building both our 'environmental leadership' and social policy credentials" said Nick Reilly, chairman and managing director.

Vauxhall reported a pre-tax profit of £127.7 million for 1999 up from £72.6 million for 1998. This was on turnover of £4.39 billion, against £4.04 billion in 1998.

Commenting on the results Nick Reilly said: "1999 turned out to be a reasonable year for Vauxhall in often difficult trading conditions. The UK car market remains extremely competitive and we therefore are very pleased to register gains in our market share in both private and fleet segments. Profitability on new car sales in the UK, however, remained under significant pressure.

"At the beginning of 1999 we were hoping to maintain the previous year's level of return; however through significant increases in efficiency, cost savings in our manufacturing, aftersales and headquarter operations and some one time favourable adjustments, we have been able to register a good increase in profit over 1998. Some of these savings cannot be repeated. The company must continue to examine every area of our operation to remain competitive on the global stage and to improve profit margins which, frankly, remain too low for a business such as ours," he continued.

Vauxhall's total car market share in 1999 rose to 13.3% (12.6% in 1998), on a volume of 291,598 (282,560) in a total market of 2,197,615 (2,247,402), down 2.2 %. In the Light Commercial Vehicle sector (LCV) Vauxhall achieved an increased market share up to 10.5% (9.3%) on a volume of 24,358 (21,986) in a total LCV market of 231,761 (237,323) down 2.3 %.

Production volumes showed an increase over 1998 of 21.1% to 315,205 (260,332). This reflects increased volumes from the third shift at Ellesmere Port producing new Astra for export across Europe. Total vehicle exports also saw a significant increase, again impacted by the increased Astra production: up 32.1% to 185,043 (140,118).

Production of V6 engines at Ellesmere Port reached a record of 111,583 (76,350) up 46%, most of which were destined for export markets.

Mr Reilly added: "With Vectra at number one in its segment, the Astra, Corsa, Omega and new Zafira all attracting increasing numbers of customers, and a number of attractive vehicles in niche markets, we have an extremely strong and comprehensive product line up. These have been enhanced in 2000 with the introductions of the Astra Coupe, VX220 roadster and the Agila in the small car segment. Furthermore we expect to see continuing success from our commitment to light commercial vehicles in the UK. Looking to the future we will continue to offer an excellent range of good value products for our customers.

"Good progress has been made towards our objective of 'environmental leadership'; for example, environmental management systems at all our facilities and pioneering Dualfuel vehicles.

"In the area of ethical standards, and social responsibility, Vauxhall recognises that the foundations of a successful business are built on trust, and this can only be earned by ensuring that the company operates to a defined set of ethical standards. We are committed to building on our achievements in this area, such as our new Family Friendly Policies, and the CRE?s Leadership Challenge Project.

"To support our objectives, as well as sharing our experiences with other organisations, Vauxhall has become a partner in the Sigma project, which aims to develop an internationally applicable standard for managing sustainability.

Finally, Vauxhall's recent announcement of £189 million to be invested in its UK manufacturing facilities is continuing proof of our support for the UK manufacturing sector, which is so important to this country," Mr Reilly concluded.