According to Automotive News analysts are predicting General Motors is the most likely OEM to ditch UK production because of the country’s vote to leave the European Union. The company is likely to shift its operations back to mainland Europe.
As of today the company builds the Opel/Vauxhall Astra hatchback in Ellesmere Port, which is in the northwest part of England. The company also produces the Vivaro commercial van in Luton.
The Astra is also produced in Gliwice, Poland, where Opel could fairly easily shift Astra production should they decide to shut down the UK plant. Analysts also predict the company could produce the Astra in Germany if need be.
At the moment GM is saying it is business as usual in the UK until details of the country’s exit from the EU emerge. The primary concern is that the EU will impose tariffs on products produced in the UK, which would shift the economics of producing vehicles there.
Analysts feel the GM Ellesmere Port plant is most at risk because of the fact that there is very little local base for parts for the car. Only 25-percent of the Astra’s parts are sourced from local suppliers, making it even easier to pull the plug on the plant if tariffs are imposed.