Vauxhall Ampera set for Ellesmere Port?

The Cheshire plant, currently responsible for production of the Vauxhall Astra, is among the forerunners to be chosen to build the extended range Ampera hybrid next year.

Due to be launched in Europe in 2012, the Vauxhall Ampera is the manufacturer’s answer to the top-selling ‘green’ car; the Toyota Prius.

Reilly believes the productivity of the Ellesmere Port plant is among the best in Europe and pointed out the similarities between the production processes needed for the Astra and Ampera models.

However, he stated his concern about the lack of UK suppliers and called on the Government to offer more incentives for green vehicle buyers.

He said: “The UK supply base has been eroded over the past few years and that means Ellesmere Port has to buy most of its components from European companies in euros. With a weak pound that is not good news.”

"The British government will have to help out like other European governments who help companies with such things as soft loans, tax incentives and skills training.”

Reilly added the decision on which plant would be given the contract would not be made for up to 12 months.