LORD Mandelson claims he has been given assurances that Vauxhall production will continue ‘indefinitely’ in Ellesmere Port as talks over the future of its parent company broke down last night.
The business secretary came under fire yesterday from union leaders demanding Government action to safeguard jobs at the North Road site, which employs more than 2,000 staff.
He claims to have been given assurances by the firms bidding to buy its parent company, General Motors Europe, that manufacturing would continue in the UK. Vauxhall also has a plant in Luton.
Lord Mandelson said: “They have each assured me that Vauxhall provides a vital source of production and vital market share for GM Europe and see Vauxhall production in the UK continuing indefinitely.”
Talks over who should buy GM Europe broke down last night in Berlin.
The two bidders are Fiat Italian carmaker Fiat and Canadian-Austrian car parts firm Magna.
An announcement is expected in Germany today on the preferred bidder.
Union chief Derek Simpson yesterday called on the UK Government to take action.
Unite’s joint general secretary said: “It’s no good providing billions to the banks but buttons for manufacturing. Thousands of jobs are at stake at Luton and Ellesmere Port.
“Once lost they won't return, our manufacturing capability and the UK’s research and development base will be left hamstrung.
“Lord Mandelson claims the government is prepared but so far there has only been talk and no action.
“This is crunch time. Its time for the UK government to be decisive and do everything humanly possible to protect Britain's manufacturing base.”