Wales

Vauxhall Ellesmere Port factory loss would have 'big impact' on Wales

Vauxhall plant Image copyright PA
Image caption Vauxhall employs about 1,000 people at Ellesmere Port

The loss of Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory would have a "big impact" on Wales' car industry, the boss of a Wrexham business has warned.

It follows reports that the carmaker could move all production from the Cheshire factory if Brexit makes it unprofitable.

Nicholas Brainsby, chairman of Applied Component Technology, said the loss of his "biggest customer" would leave his business with a "big hole".

The company employs about 55 people.

Vauxhall-owner PSA's chief executive Carlos Tavares told the Financial Times: "Frankly I would prefer to put it [the Astra car] in Ellesmere Port, but if the conditions are bad and I cannot make it profitable, then I have to protect the rest of the company and I will not do it."

The paper reported the move would probably lead to the closure of the site, threatening 1,000 jobs.

Mr Brainsby said he was "of course" concerned, adding: "It's our single biggest customer at the moment.

"We have felt that there was a prospect of this happening for some time given the way Brexit has been unfolding... so we have been looking at ways to mitigate the impact but nonetheless losing that work would leave a big hole and we're doing our best to prepare for it."

Image caption Nicholas Brainsby said Vauxhall was his auto components business's "single biggest customer"

He warned there would be a "wider impact across the supply chain" and it could lead to job losses in the sector.

He called on the UK Government to "do its best to get a deal for Brexit which allows for near frictionless trade and low or no tariffs on parts imports and exports in the auto industry".

He added there would also be a need for extra grant funding from the Welsh Government for companies to maintain employment.

It comes weeks after Ford's announcement that its Bridgend engine plant would close in September 2020 with the loss of 1,700 jobs.

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