Stellantis celebrates 60 years of production at Ellesmere Port

Francesco Armenio
The Stellantis Ellesmere Port plant celebrates 60 years since the first car rolled off the production line.
Stellantis Ellesmere Port

Stellantis celebrates 60 years of vehicle production at the Ellesmere Port plant. The first car produced at this plant was a Vauxhall Viva, which rolled off the production line on June 1, 1964. The Ellesmere Port plant was built in 1962 and inaugurated in 1964, when production of the Vauxhall Viva began. Since then, it has produced famous models such as the Vauxhall Chevette and, since 1980, seven generations of the hugely popular Vauxhall Astra. Since opening, the plant has produced more than one million units of the Viva, 250,000 units of the Vauxhall Chevette and over 4.1 million Vauxhall Astras.

The Stellantis Ellesmere Port plant celebrates 60 years of production


The Stellantis Ellesmere Port plant is now a fundamental part of British electric vehicle production, being the UK’s first volume-only electric vehicle manufacturing plant following a £100 million investment by Stellantis as part of the company’s Dare Forward 2030 commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2038. Electric vehicle production began at Ellesmere Port last September, with production of the Vauxhall/Opel Combo Electric, Citroën ë-Berlingo, Fiat e-Doblò and Peugeot E-Partner.

In 1970 Ellesmere Port occupied more than 350,000 square meters, but since then has undergone numerous major changes, including the addition of a battery assembly workshop, improvement of General Assembly and transfer of the body shop. This has contributed to a 60% reduction in the total site area for better energy efficiency and productivity. With an area of 118,000 square meters, the entire plant is now similar in size to the previous workshop.

Ellesmere Port’s transition to all-electric production continues Vauxhall’s tradition of building vehicles in the UK, which began at the company’s Luton plant in 1905, after moving from Vauxhall to London, where it began in 1903. From next year, Luton will begin producing medium-sized electric vehicles, including vans for Vauxhall, Opel, Citroën, Peugeot and Fiat Professional.

Present at the 60th anniversary celebrations was Keith Tabiner, a worker at the Ellesmere Port plant in 1964 when the first Vauxhall Viva was produced. His three sons, Mark, Mike and Phil, also work at the plant today, meaning the Tabiner family has a total of 152 years working at the facility. Over the decades the plant has enjoyed a high level of loyalty, dedication and length of service from many employees.

Stellantis Ellesmere Port

Keith Tabiner said: “Having watched the first start-up of the Vauxhall Viva production line in 1964 and worked at Ellesmere Port for a total of 40 years, it’s a pleasure to be back and see the plant going from strength to strength producing the electric vehicles of the future. I have always driven Vauxhalls and with three of my sons following in my footsteps and working at the plant today, everything we have is thanks to Ellesmere Port.”

Diane Miller, plant director at Ellesmere Port, said: “We are excited to mark such an impressive milestone, celebrating production that began sixty years ago with the Viva, and now continues into the future with the electric vans of Fiat, Citroën, Peugeot and Opel. For sixty years, Ellesmere Port has been a central pillar of the local area, and its inhabitants have always been very proud of their work at the plant to provide millions of vehicles for the UK and beyond, and now continue to do so in the transition towards a more sustainable future”.

Maria Grazia Davino, CEO of Stellantis UK Group, commented: “It is gratifying to celebrate sixty years of vehicle production at Ellesmere Port, which continues to produce the latest generation of electric vans. Stellantis is the only OEM that produces vans, including electric ones, in volume in the UK, and I would like to congratulate the plant’s employees, who continue to work incredibly hard to produce the vehicles that will help electrify businesses in the UK and in the over 20 countries where we export electric vans”.