Stellantis NV has stated that it will decide the future of its Ellesmere Port plant in England in the coming days post an extended period of Brexit based uncertainty.
A decision on future investment at the site is quite imminent, a spokesman for the automaker which also owns Vauxhall and Opel said via phone Tuesday. As of now, the factory employs around 1,000 workers making Astra compact cars.
Stellantis Chief Executive Officer Carlos Tavares has been assessing as to whether or not it makes sense to make an investment in the UK due to the high potential of additional costs and bureaucracy resulting from Britain leaving the European Union.
He also stated last month that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s decision to ban gasoline and diesel cars from the year 2030 could be “a problem.” for the company.
“You put your investment close to the market where you sell the highest volume,” Tavares said in January. Given that, he asked rhetorically: “What is left for the UK?”
Stellantis, the birth child of the merger of the PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler, also makes commercial vehicles by using a factory in Luton, England.
PSA froze its investments in the UK for quite some time last year, citing the lack of clarity in regards to the country’s post-Brexit trading relationship with the EU.
The UK car industry escaped from possible disaster with the trade agreement having been agreed to in late December, but its prospects are not yet certain.
After passenger-vehicle production dropped to a 36-year low, automakers are now facing more customs procedures and requirements. “If you look at it from a pure logistic perspective or from a paperwork perspective, perhaps it’s better to put it in continental Europe,” Tavares said last month.
“It depends also on the UK government’s willingness to protect some kind of automotive industry in its own country.”