The PSA Group, who owns Vauxhall, has warned the British government that it could stop Astra production at its Ellesmere Port plant in case of a no-deal Brexit.
The French automaker recently announced that the next-generation Opel/Vauxhall Astra will be built at two plants in Europe, one being the Rüsselsheim facility in Germany.
The decision regarding the second factory is still pending, but PSA says the UK is its first choice.
“The group has confirmed that the Russelsheim plant will manufacture Astra and that it is planned that the second plant will be Ellesmere Port in the United Kingdom,” the automaker said in a statement.
There’s just one problem, though: PSA wants guarantees from the government that a no-deal Brexit will not happen.
“The decision on the allocation to the Ellesmere Port plant will be conditional on the final terms of the UK’s exit from the European Union and the acceptance of the New Vehicle Agreement, which has been negotiated with the Unite Trade Union,” reads the statement.
The decision, therefore, depends on the outcome of Brexit. PSA’s announcement comes as Prime Minister Theresa May’s both potential successors, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, have said they are prepared to take the UK out of the EU without a deal on October 31.
Britain’s car industry warned earlier this week that a no-deal Brexit would have a “seismic” effect, crippling the sector with tariffs of up to 10 percent, border delays, and added bureaucracy.
Currently, the Vauxhall and Opel Astra are built in Ellesmere Port and in Gliwice, Poland. The Astra K is still in the middle of its life cycle, with a facelifted model just around the corner. This means the next-generation model is about two to three years away – and, thus, finalizing the details of its production can’t wait much longer.