Future of Vauxhall plant secured

The future of the Vauxhall plant in Luton has been secured after the car manufacturer made a decision to build the latest version of Vivaro van at the site.

Unite welcomed the move, which will protect more than 1,000 jobs at the factory.

It had been feared the Luton plant would close in the next few years, as an existing contract between Vauxhall and French firm Renault to use the site had been due to end in 2013.

But Vauxhall has now assured workers that the site will continue to play an "important role" in the firm's manufacturing network. The company is owned by US giant General Motors (GM).

Nick Reilly, president of General Motors Europe, recently said that a decision was imminent.

Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey said: "The efforts of Vauxhall's chairman, Nick Reilly, were pivotal in securing an agreement with Renault and we are extremely grateful for the part he played.

"This decision is also down to the hard work of the workforce and savings they made."

Describing the decision as "fantastic news", Unite said the Luton plant will deliver 62,000 units every year.

Renault's Trafic version of the van, currently made in Luton, will switch to its plant in Sandouville, France, from 2013.

Around 1,130 directly-employed staff work at Luton as well as hundreds of contractors, taking the total to 1,500.

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