Vauxhall to close UK factories due coronavirus outbreak

Vauxhall’s two UK manufacturing sites are to close temporarily due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ellesmere Port, where the Astra is built for the UK and Europe, will close on Tuesday, March 17, while the firm’s van manufacturing site in Luton will close on Thursday, March 19. Both plants will remain closed until March 27.

The move is part of a wider decision taken by Vauxhall’s parent company Groupe PSA in response to the virus’s spread. The French group, which also owns Peugeot, Citroen, DS and Opel is closing all of its production plants in Europe over the coming days.

In total 14 factories across the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Poland, Portugal and Slovakia will be closed until the end of the month.

Vauxhall's Luton factory will close on Thursday (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

In a statement, Groupe PSA said that the decision had been taken due to the acceleration of serious COVID-19 cases close to certain production sites, supply disruptions from major suppliers, and a sudden decline in the automobile markets.

Groupe PSA is the latest manufacturer to close factories in response to the spread of coronavirus around Europe.

Italian supercar makers Ferrari and Lamborghini have both ceased production until at least late March, with VW, Seat, Renault and Nissan also closing plants in Slovakia and Spain.