Vauxhall Ellesmere PortVauxhall Motors has announced it is making a further 250 redundancies at its Ellesmere Port plant in the UK. The latest announcement comes on top of the 400 redundancies announced in October last year, at which point the carmaker also revealed plans to move Astra production at Ellesmere Port to one shift from two during 2018. It said a challenging passenger car market in Europe meant it needed to adjust production volumes to meet demand and protect its future, and that the move to a single shift would not mean a big change to the number of Astra cars made at the plant.

“Current manufacturing costs at Ellesmere Port are significantly higher than those of the benchmark plants of the PSA Group in France,” said the carmaker in statement last October. “The teams are conscious of the need to accelerate the recovery of plant productivity in order to meet the challenges ahead, while continuously improving the already high level of quality achieved today.”

Overall production figures for Ellesmere Port in 2017 will not be available until the end of January but a spokesperson for Vauxhall said pan-European market decline had hit the company more in the second half of the year. In 2016, the plant made just over 118,000 vehicles.

The company said Ellesmere Port would move to a single shift operation in April with the additional reduction in staff taking place between April and September this year.

Vauxhall was bought, along with Opel, by PSA Group last year when GM sold its European division for €2.2 billion ($2.3 billion). However, a spokesperson for Vauxhall told Automotive Logistics the move at Ellesmere Port was an internal Vauxhall decision and not instigated by PSA Group.