The Vauxhall Van Plant in Luton, UK built over 44,000 vans last year, making it Britain’s number one van maker for the 12th year running, according to figures released today by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
The Bedfordshire-based Vauxhall celebrated 110 years of building and selling vehicles in 2013 and achieved 12 years of manufacturing dominance.
The company claims the Luton-based business built three times more vehicles than its nearest competitor, with manufacturing completing 44,657 Vivaro vans at its UK plant. However, over the years, output has been declining. In 2012 the plant built 53,000 vehicles and the year previously built 68,000. In 2010 the figure was close to 72,000.
Vivaro’s UK sales rose 34 per cent year-on-year to 18,180. This helped drive production throughout the year.
“We are delighted to be the UK’s leading van manufacturer for the 12th year running,” said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s chairman and managing director. “The Luton-built Vivaro is the lynchpin of our award-winning van range so it’s a fantastic way to round off our 110th Birthday celebrations.”
The Luton van factory is currently ramping up to build the new X82 Vivaro which goes on sale later this year. Facility changes have begun with important upgrades already installed in the body shop. Such changes nno doubt affected production.
Significant investment has been made in the project including €95 million in specific plant changes, €112 million in vendor tooling of which €34 million is in the UK and €12 million on facilities.
Over 40 per cent of content for the new vehicle will be sourced locally. The plant and associated agencies directly employ over 1,200 people in the Luton area, and is a significant contributor to the local and wider UK economies.
The Luton plant in 2009 had a capacity of 109,000 working on three shifts. Two-shift capacity is probably around 66,000, according to sources. Up to now the plant has built both Vauxhall/Opel and Renault products but with the introduction of X82 the plan is that Renault will build its own Trafic vehicles at Sandouville. Some design and evelopment work for the X82 van has been undertaken at the Millbrook Proving Ground, Bedfordshire, which last October parent company General Motors sold to Rutland Partners for an undisclosed sum.
In 2011 the UK plant produced 68,103 units, and the year after 53,000. ∎
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