Two of Vauxhall’s manufacturing sites in the United Kingdom recently reached important production milestones. On July 5, 2013, Vauxhall’s site in Ellesmere Port rolled its 250,000th Astra Sports Tourer off its production line. Workers at the site, which is considered at the number one maker of estate cars, held a celebration at the end of the production line as the 250,000th Astra Sports Tourer was driven off the production line.
The site commenced the production of the current model in 2010. The Astra has been one of the best-selling cars in the UK, with more than 2.8 million units sold since it was launch to the market on sale in 1980. For this year alone, Vauxhall has sold 30,000 units so far.
Vauxhall is producing the Sports Tourer only at its Ellesmere Port plant for export across Europe. On the other hand, the Sports Tourer’s upper-body structure was entirely engineered by Vauxhall engineers at Millbrook, Bedfordshire. The same team is also responsible for tuning the Sports Tourer for UK roads.
On July 6, 2013, Vauxhall’s site in Luton produced its 900,000th Vivaro van and turned it over to the AA, one of the carmaker’s biggest customers. AA patrol of the year Tony Rich received the keys on behalf of the AA. He will have the honor of driving the milestone van. Vauxhall has been the largest commercial vehicle maker in the UK for 11 years, since it commenced producing the Vivaro production started. Vauxhall has sold over 150,000 Vivaros sold in the UK, including 9,000 so far in 2013.
“We are very proud to celebrate these milestones at our UK production facilities in our 110th anniversary year,” said Duncan Aldred, Vauxhall’s Chairman and Managing Director.
“Our hardworking and dedicated workforce at Luton and Ellesmere Port produce vehicles of exceptional quality so it is no surprise these UK-built models are so successful in the marketplace.” “We are honoured that this landmark Vivaro is going in to service with the AA,” said Edmund King, AA President. “Tony is very much looking forward to driving his new van and I’m sure his visit to the plant is one call-out he’ll never forget!”
It was during the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show that the Vauxhall Astra was introduced. Then it was projected to increase the standards when it comes to compact cars being sold in the U.K. market. After all, the Astra has dynamics that put it at the top of the segment, powertrains that are ultra-efficient, luxurious quality, and design that showcases style.
With this model, customers get to experience the tradition of the brand when it comes to delivering technology and innovation that are often limited to models in a class higher. However, the price remains to show excellent value. Overall there are a total of five trim levels and eight engines to be offered for the Astra. To be manufactured at the Ellesmere Port facility located in Cheshire, the Astra will initially be offered as a five-door hatchback.
Established 46 years ago, this is the same plant where the brand has produced its compact-class cars. Beginning with the official launching, all of the Astra models to be sold in the European will be made at Ellesmere Port. Customers in the U.K. need not worry though as when it comes total production, 25% will be allocated for this market. Not that surprising since Astra is not only a U.K.-built car but it is also the best-selling unit in Britain.
The Astra has always been in the top three when it comes to sales. Vauxhall said that the Astra will be available for sale in showrooms across the U.K. starting December 2009. For the model equipped with the 1.4-liter engine capable of 87 PS, it will be priced at £15,675. The Astra with the CDTi 2.0-liter Elite automatic (160 PS) is valued at £23,695.