PSA Appears Ready To Shut Down UK’s Ellesmere Port Factory Over No-Deal Brexit

PSA Group, the owner of Opel and Vauxhall, is reportedly ready to shut down all production from its Ellesmere Port factory in the UK and switch to a plant in mainland Europe if Brexit hurts their profitability.

Carlos Tavares, PSA Group’s CEO told the Financial Times that they have already found a site in southern Europe to produce the Opel/Vauxhall Astra if the UK government fails to deliver a satisfactory outcome once the country leaves the EU.

Also Read: Aston Martin Says It’s Prepared For A No-Deal Brexit

“Frankly I would prefer to put it (the Astra model) in Ellesmere Port but if the conditions are bad and I cannot make it profitable then I have to protect the rest of the company and I will not do it,” Tavares said. “We have an alternative to Ellesmere Port.”

PSA Group has already said that, starting in 2021, the next-generation of the Opel Astra will be produced in Russelsheim, Germany as well as Ellesmere Port in the UK, the latter only if the country’s exit terms from the EU means it makes sense for them to continue production there.

Tavares’ latest remarks reveal the growing concerns over a no-deal Brexit or even a negotiated settlement that will hit the car maker’s profits because of tariffs and custom checks. SMMT, the UK’s car trade body, also warned Boris Johnson, the country’s new PM, that a no-deal Brexit poses an “existential threat” to the industry.

Ellesmere Port is considered to be the most heavily exposed car factory in the UK, with 80 percent of its production exported to Europe and around three quarters of its components being imported.

“We need visibility on what is going to happen in October,” Mr Tavares said, referring to trade conditions with Europe.

“For us it’s quite simple; we need visibility on customs; that’s all. We need visibility on customs for parts coming from continental Europe or from the rest of the world, and we need visibility on the customs for cars coming out of the UK to continental Europe. Those are the only things we need; everything else we’ll take care of.”

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  • Wayne Alan Carr Heyes

    The EU are not in better shape

    And if you want to off then Go! JLR have invested heavily in post brexit uk if they SO CAN OTHERS

    Your using brexit as an EXCUSE

    • Alexandru Panaitescu


    • Joe

      Or post something that has an actual factual basis. A no deal Brexit can be likened to shooting the EU in the foot and then shooting ourselves (the UK) in the head. We will suffer far more, and anyway PSA have already been saying for months that they need an alternative because without a deal UK production is not sustainable.
      JLR haven’t really heavily invested – they’ve funnelled money and production to Slovakia and they’ve cut UK jobs, and have actually received a £500m government loan the other week to essentially bribe them into staying.

      • Da Only Skid

        Granted I am not involved in this Brexit deal but must wonder why the EU will flame a country for wanting to leave a corrupt and “3 country ran” organization? These automakers appear quick to pull from England but what would stop them from petitioning the EU for relief in the event of a deal/no-deal Brexit? Call me ignorant, I just don’t see how the UK leaving the totalitarian guidelines of the EU should drag down the the production market just because some people in power are against it. Yes there are government infrastructure changes that will need to be made, so what. The UK is only being used as a case as to “see what happens when you leave.” And that scares the EU for fear that other less stable economies choose to leave and the power is diminished.

  • sidewaysspin

    Britain is sinking!

    • Stigasawuswrecks

      Britain and the US are going under.

      • Da Only Skid

        What great country are you from?

        • Stigasawuswrecks

          The US, why?

          • Da Only Skid

            So your country is going down? Want a wish and tell the tale. Good luck with that. We may not agree with the Prez but only a shallow wannabe actually states that their country is going down. You know, the one that claimed their country is crap because they have nothing but they’re on politics to go by. Enjoy. And actually I feel better in my skin.

          • Stigasawuswrecks

            You sound hurt.

      • Don’tBeSoStupid

        What Democrat dump are you from?

        • Stigasawuswrecks

          I actually live in NC. What does political sides have to do with anything? I bet if you looked up the worst states in the country that you wouldn’t like the answer.

          • Don’tBeSoStupid

            Always been curious, your photo always pops up on terrible post. Please list the worst states though I’m truly curious!

          • Stigasawuswrecks

            No, I’d rather you do it. That way you can’t call bias.

  • Daniela Wolf

    If they weren’t so poor….

  • Daniela Wolf

    * last parts of british industry leaving the country *

    circa 2019

  • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

    They were NEVER going to build the new Astra in the UK. Why would they? PSA has a history of shutting down its plants in the UK. The current Astra is on a GM platform. producing a new gen would mean millions in refitting and engineering the plant for a new psa model. They can quite easily produce it in france or Southern Spain alongside equivalent Pug and Citroen models. Not gonna happen. Brexit is a convenient excuse. Even if they get a good deal, PSA will find a way to slither out and close up the plant.

  • Joe

    Yes I know this, but they still maintained the next X-Trail and Qashqai would be built alongside each other in Sunderland until they claimed the government violated whatever deal they had made with Nissan. The uncertainty of the UK’s position versus the certainty of EU/Japan’s position made the decision a no-brainer for them.

  • USOZ

    Not surprised based on the current political climate in the UK. Closing Ellesmere Port will happen if there is a No Deal Brexit, which based on the rhetoric from Britain’s new PM…I think it’s very likely.

  • rover10

    It will close anyway regardless of Brexit.

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