General Motors too has viewed the UK with some disdain of late having quit the proving ground at Millbrook, Bedfordshire in favour of venture capitalist, Rutland Partners, which then sold it on to to Spectris for a cool £122 million.
Last year, the Luton, Bedfordshire plant built 73,622 vans using a workforce of 1,500 employees. Based on 35 hours a week and 48 weeks a year this is equivalent to 34 hours per van, but it discounts engine and transmission and other bought in parts. In contrast, Ellesmere Port in Cheshire built 118,113 Astra models from a workforce of 1,900. Ellesmere Port has many more industrial robots than Luton and the flowline is quite smooth and uninterrupted. The grand total of 191,735 Vauxhall units was 25 per cent up on the previous year.