GM Enters Consultation Phase Concerning Future of European Plants, Ellesmere Port's Future Bright

General Motors, which recently reversed its decision to sell the British and German brand of automobiles under its wing to Magna, has reportedly entered the "consultation phase" regarding the future of each one of its currently operational plants across Europe, as plans for the development of Vauxhall and Opel get firmer.

The future of Ellesmere Port, Vauxhall's key UK plant, seems to be particularly bright. Under Magna, the unit was looking at a modest reduction in head-count, but GM has now asserted that these "redundancies can be avoided altogether", mainly by producing the upcoming estate version of the new Astra model form the plant starting 2010. Another thing that could secure the future of Ellesmere Port is adding a "third shift to the plant's working pattern from 2011".

"To support the launch in 2010 of the new Astra Sports Tourer and to prepare for the third shift introduction in 2011, the plan is for no redundancies as all current labour would need to be utilized to staff the third shift", the company shard.

An overall study of the situation reveals that while GM is proposing job cuts which are almost as similar in magnitude as those proposed by Magna, the main difference seems to be that while GM would retain all four of its Opel production units, these will "now bear a bigger share of the cuts".