Saturday 5 October 2013

GM to bank-roll Millbrook’s pension scheme

It is rumoured that the cost to Rutland Partners of buying Millbrook Proving Ground Ltd is just under £15 million; a figure somewhat lower than some people expected. As part of the consideration, Rutland will not have to fund the employees’ pension scheme. It has not been disclosed how Rutland will finance the deal.

Also as part of the deal, there is a continued agreement from General Motors (GM) and Vauxhall Motors for Millbrook to maintain production of ‘blue light’ vehicles and other conversions. In this event, Millbrook will be a sub-contractor to Vauxhall.

GM will continue to provide durability, testing and engineering design work to Millbrook for a range of Vauxhall/Opel vehicles.

Millbrook also will continue to provide programme management services for Vauxhall’s light commercial vehicle production at the Vauxhall Van Plant in Luton. This includes 22 current Vauxhall employees who will move across to Millbrook for such contracts.

It has also been pledged that there will be no redundancies and, perhaps, most important of all to Millbrook employees, GM will continue to be responsible for the Millbrook pension scheme.

The cost of a complete closure of Millbrook Proving Ground Ltd has been put at £50 million. However, it is unlikely such an event would have taken place as the facilities on offer represent an attractive proposition to an OEM.    

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