Watch the historic moment of the last Vauxhall Astra roll off the production line at Ellesmere Port


Astra’s final model has rolled off the production line at the Ellesmere Port plant in Vauxhall as the factory prepares to start manufacturing electric vehicles only from the start of next year. The final message played over the loudspeakers as production of the seventh-generation Astra model wrapped up on Wednesday, April 6.

To mark the occasion, the existing workforce was joined by former employees to see the final model – an Astra Sport Tourer SRi Nav 1.2 Turbo Manual – rolling off the production line. Ellesmere Port began producing the iconic Vauxhall Astra in November 1981 – then in its first generation – and has built over four million models in total.

The North Road plant, which celebrates 60 years of manufacturing in 2022, will now be transformed to produce only electric van models thanks to a £100million investment from parent company Stellantis. The Vauxhall Combo-e and its Opel equivalent will be among the first electric vehicles to be produced when the plant reopens, along with the Peugeot e-Partner and Citroën e-Berlingo vans.

READ MORE: Vauxhall plans for ‘high quality’ production facility at Ellesmere Port site

Vauxhall Managing Director Paul Willcox said: “Over the past 60 years, Ellesmere Port has become one of Britain’s great car factories, producing some of the most popular cars on the roads across generations. With the closing an era we now look forward to a whole new electric era at Ellesmere Port with the site becoming the first Stellantis plant to produce only electric vehicles Vauxhall is rapidly moving towards an electric future and I am excited to see the next generation of Vauxhall electric vehicles made in Brittany.”

Vauxhall has pledged to only sell electric vehicles from 2028, seven years before the government’s deadline, and the transformation at Ellesmere Port will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of electric vehicle manufacturing. The factory upgrade is also part of Stellantis’ commitment to becoming a carbon-neutral group, globally, by 2038 – and to halving its carbon footprint by 2030, based on 2021 data.

The final Astra model rolled off the production line at Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port factory, which is celebrating 60 years of manufacturing. (Image: Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

With over 90 years of UK manufacturing history, Vauxhall is currently the only mainstream car brand producing vans in Britain. Alongside the Stellantis factory in Ellesmere Port, Vauxhall continues to manufacture vans at its Luton plant, which has been in operation since 1907 and is the oldest car factory in the UK.

The Ellesmere Port factory opened in 1962 and began as a production plant for the Vauxhall Viva. Since then, it has produced iconic models in the Vauxhall range, including the Chevette and successive generations of Vauxhall and Opel Astra. In total, more than 5.2 million vehicles have rolled off the production line at Ellesmere Port over the past 60 years.

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