New Vauxhall van will secure 1200 East of England manufacturing jobs
- Credit: PA
Motor giant Vauxhall has launched a new van, securing 1,200 jobs over the next decade, with the prospect of more workers being recruited in Luton.
The Vivaro will be built at the firm's plant in Luton, which is the UK's only factory making vans, in a £185 million investment.
Up to 70,000 vans will be built a year, with around half being exported.
Vauxhall said service firms around the country will win £600 million of new business thanks to the Vivaro programme.
Tim Tozer, managing director of Vauxhall, said: 'The all-new Vivaro van is of critical importance to Vauxhall and its manufacturing facility in Luton. I'm very proud of the men and women who build this vehicle to world-class levels of quality and productivity.
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'Our customers will be delighted with the new Luton-built Vivaro. It offers the comfort and design of a passenger car but with class-leading practicality, improved cargo dimensions and excellent payload capability.'
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: 'The launch of the new Vivaro is great news for British manufacturing. The plant at Luton, which has made such an important contribution to the local and national economy, has got a bright future thanks to the commitment of its workforce and ability to compete against the best in Europe.
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'Through the UK Government's industrial strategy we are backing the auto sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing the right environment to give businesses the confidence to invest and create high-skilled jobs.'
Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, said: 'The new Vivaro is testament to the skills and dedication of the Luton workforce who have once again put together a world-class vehicle.
'Not only is it great news for British manufacturing, but represents yet another proud milestone in Luton's rich history of motor manufacturing, underlining how jobs and investment can be secured when employers like Vauxhall work closely with their workforce and Unite.
'More investment like this is needed to create the high-skilled jobs and security we need to rebalance the economy and bring growth to all.'
Vauxhall is considering introducing a second shift in Luton, which would create new jobs.