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    NAA Event Review: Stellantis Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility

    Last month saw our latest member networking event take place at the Stellantis, Ellesmere Port manufacturing facility – better known as Vauxhall Motors, where we were welcomed by Plant Director, Diane Miller and Industrial Master Planning Manager and NAA Advisory Board Member, Dave Brewster.

    Dave gave a presentation covering the site’s history and transformation into the UK’s and Stellantis’ first dedicated EV production facility, followed by a comprehensive tour of the plant.

    With construction commencing in 1962, the plant was completed in 1964, when it began to initially produce the Vauxhall Viva HA, followed by all subsequent models of Viva and Astra over the next 58 years. The plant’s footprint covers over 615,000 square metres, and there are 1,200 employees on site. The current planned output is 50,000 vehicles per annum, with an aspiration to increase to 75,000 vehicles per annum using a 3-shift working pattern. The plant has benefitted from circa €160 million investment in facilities, processes and people and has undergone a significant transformation in the last two years in preparation for the “EK9” EV van model, which is currently assembled for the following brands within the Stellantis Group: Vauxhall, Opel, Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat.

    The philosophy has been to downsize, or compress, the whole operation’s footprint to ensure a competitive overhead base. This has resulted in a target of 50% reduction in total footprint from 1.2 million square metres, including a new 20,000 square metre bodyshop in place of the previous 100,000 square metre Astra facility. A new paintshop has also been installed with technology that only requires the vehicle shell to be baked once during the entire paint process. The general assembly area has also been compressed by 50%, whilst battery assembly and injection moulding facilities have also been introduced for the first time.

    Over 80% of the supply chain is currently sourced from Spain and Portugal, and this inbound freight is delivered via the nearby Queen Elizabeth II Dock at Eastham using two ships per week, which has removed the equivalent of 400 trailers per week from the local road network.  

    The plant has a busy new model introduction schedule planned for this year, including a long-wheelbase variant, a face-lift for all variants, and a passenger carrying variant.

    Given the popularity of this event and the fact that we were not able to accommodate all members who expressed an interest in joining the visit, we have agreed with Stellantis that we will hold a second similar event later in the year.

    European Regional Development Fund Northern Powerhouse
    Partners Department for Business Innovation and Skills Finance Birmingham