Vauxhall owner to invest $138M in UK to make electric cars

LONDON — Vauxhall’s parent company announced Tuesday that it will invest 100 million pounds ($138 million) to make electric vans and cars at its factory in northwestern England.

Stellantis said the investment will see Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant in Cheshire, near Liverpool, producing electric vehicles for other brands under Stellantis including Peugeot, Citroen and Opel.

The future of the plant had been in doubt after Stellantis announced that the new Astra car model wouldn’t be built there.

Tuesday’s announcement secured more than 1,000 jobs at the plant, as well as thousands more in the supply chain that rely on the factory for their livelihood.

Vauxhall was believed to have been seeking financial support from Britain’s government to help convert the factory from producing diesel and petrol vehicles to electric ones. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng told reporters Tuesday that the government has “contributed an amount,” but declined to provide details.

The factory, which has produced more than 5 million vehicles since it opened in the 1960s, will now focus on making electric vehicles. Britain is set to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles in 2030.

Japanese carmaker Nissan recently announced that it was also expanding its electric vehicle and battery production at its plant in Sunderland, a move that will create 1,650 jobs. The news of the Nissan and Vauxhall investments were welcome boosts for the U.K. car industry, which has suffered from uncertainty about foreign investment since the 2016 Brexit referendum.