Vauxhall Motors Ltd. is a member of General Motors’ (GM) UK and Irish family of companies, which includes Saab GB, Opel Ireland and GMM Luton Vehicles as wholly owned operations and Chevrolet UK.
Vauxhall Motors, which built its first car in the Vauxhall district of South London in 1903, moved to Luton in 1905, and was acquired by General Motors Corporation in 1925. Production at Ellesmere Port began in 1964, where the first vehicle to roll off the new production line in June of that year was the Vauxhall Viva. In May 2003, Vauxhall celebrated its centenary, underpinned by the theme of “A Century in Motion”.
Vauxhall’s car manufacturing site at GMM Ellesmere Port produces the new 5dr Astra as well as the Astravan for Vauxhall and Opel. In 2007 the plant produced 127,962 vehicles.
Vauxhall currently markets the Agila, Antara, Astra, Astra TwinTop, Corsa, Tigra, Meriva, New Zafira, New Vectra, Insignia and VXR8 passenger cars. Its commercial vehicle range comprises the Corsavan, Astravan, Vivaro, Movano and the Combo.
GMM Luton Vehicles is also based in Luton. Its Vivaro medium sized van is produced for sale under the Vauxhall, Opel, Nissan and Renault brands. In 2007, 95,030 units were produced.
Currently, GM directly employs 5,500 people in the UK. Through affiliated dealerships, the company indirectly employs a further 23,000 people in this country.
In 2007, GM’s UK plants produced a total of 222,992 vehicles, representing around 17.8% of total UK car and light commercial vehicle production. In the same year, the company sold 384,372 units on the UK market. GM’s share of the UK’s total market for LCVs in 2007 stood at 15.7% and 13.8% for cars. Vauxhall was the 2nd to top brand in the UK, with a market share of 13.7%.