60 Years At Ellesmere Port For Vauxhall

Picture of By Rob Harvey
By Rob Harvey

Marketing Manager - Bridge Classic Cars

This month marks 60 years of production at the Ellesmere Port plant for Vauxhall.

The Ellesmere Port facility, built in 1962 and operational by June 1964, initially produced the Vauxhall Viva. Over the years, it became home to recognisable models like the Vauxhall Chevette and, since 1980, has been the birthplace of seven generations of the hugely popular Vauxhall Astra. Since it first became operational, the plant has produced over a million Vivas, a quarter of a million Chevettes, and more than 4.1 million Astras.

Today, the Ellesmere Port plant is a key part of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) production. Following a £100 million investment, it became the country’s first EV-only volume manufacturing facility, aligning with the current owners of Vauxhall, Stellantis, Dare Forward 2030 commitment to carbon neutrality by 2038.

Back in 1970, the Ellesmere Port site spanned over 350,000 square meters. Through several significant upgrades—including a new battery assembly shop, enhanced General Assembly, and a relocated bodyshop—the plant now covers 118,000 square meters. These changes have led to a 60% reduction in total site area, boosting both energy efficiency and productivity.

The transition to EV production at Ellesmere Port continues Vauxhall’s tradition of UK vehicle manufacturing, which began at the Luton plant in 1905, following its initial operations in London since 1903. Starting next year, Luton will also be producing medium electric vans for Vauxhall, Opel, Citroën, Peugeot, and Fiat Professional.

Celebrating the 60th anniversary were plant staff and local dignitaries, including Keith Tabiner, who was part of the production team in 1964 when the first Vauxhall Viva was made. Remarkably, his three sons—Mark, Mike, and Phil—are also part of the current workforce, contributing to a combined 152 years of family service at the plant. This reflects the deep loyalty, dedication, and long service of many employees over the decades.

Keith Tabiner said: “Having witnessed the first Vauxhall Viva roll of the production line in 1964, and worked at Ellesmere Port for a total of 40 years, it’s a pleasure to be back and see the plant going from strength to strength making the electric vehicles of the future. I’ve always driven Vauxhalls and with three of my sons following in my footsteps and working at the plant today, everything we have is thanks to Ellesmere Port.”

Diane Miller, Ellesmere Port Plant Director, said: “We are excited to mark such an impressive milestone, celebrating production that began sixty years ago with the Viva, and now continues into the future with electric vans from Fiat, Citroën, Peugeot, Opel and Vauxhall. For six decades, Ellesmere Port has been a central pillar of the local area, and whose people have continually taken great pride in their work at the plant to provide millions of vehicles for the UK and beyond and now continue to do so in the transition to a more sustainable future.”

Maria Grazia Davino, Group Managing Director, Stellantis UK, remarked: “It is gratifying to celebrate six decades of vehicle production at Ellesmere Port, which continues to produce the latest generation of electric vans. Stellantis is the only OEM producing vans, including electric vans, in volume in the UK, and I would like to share my congratulations to the employees at the plant, who continue to work incredibly hard to produce the vehicles that will help to electrify businesses across the UK and in the more than 20 countries to which we export electric vans.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this post
Enjoyed this article by Rob Harvey?
Email Rob Harvey