Vauxhall’s Luton plant builds the current Vauxhall Vivaro model, the brand’s answer to the best-selling Ford Transit.
According to Vauxhall, ‘the Luton plant will continue to play an important role in the Vauxhall manufacturing network’.
The news will be a huge boost to UK manufacturing and will safeguard up to 1,100 jobs at the plant. Production of the next generation of the Vivaro van will begin in 2013.
The factory is expected to build up to 62,000 vans a year when the next generation Vivaro arrives. Like the current version, it is expected to feature ten different body styles, including short- and long wheelbase models, nine-seat minibus, high roof and dropside versions.
Vauxhall has also confirmed it will continue its partnership with Renault, which began in 1996 with the joint design and manufacturer of the larger Vauxhall Movano and Renault Master Van.
Currently, the partnership also produces both the Vivaro and Renault Trafic on the same platform. When the next generation Vivaro is introduced, production of a next generation Trafic van will begin at the Sandouville plant in Normandy.
Between them, Vauxhall and Renault have built over 1.25 million Trafic and Vivaro vans. However, the two brands market and sell the vans separately in Renault and Vauxhall dealerships respectively.
Today’s news leaves the UK LCV industry in a healthy position. The Ford Transit, the world’s best-selling light commercial vehicle, is currently built at the Ford plant in Southampton.
Ford also boasts engine design and production facilities in Dagenham and Bridgend, where the new, more frugal EcoBoost petrol engines are currently produced.