It marks the end of an era at the Elsmeyer port plant in Voxhall, with the final Astra closing production line on April 6, 2022.
Vauxhall began making Astra models on November 16, 1981, using the Wirral-based facility, importing previously revised versions of the Opel Kadett. Since then, nearly four million astros, spanning seven generations, have been made at the port of Elsmer.
The final example from the factory was a SRi Nav sports tour with a 1.2-liter engine and a manual gearbox. The latest British-built Astra ended in Hot Red.
Current and former plant workers gathered to celebrate the event, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of the port of Alesmere. Concerns over the plant’s fate were raised as Astral L shifted its production only to Opel’s factory in Russellsheim, Germany, but its future was secured last year when the parent company announced the conversion of an electric vehicle to the Stellantis site.
Now in the final stages of Astra K production, the production line will go through a 100 million retilling, partly funded by the UK government. When completed in early 2023, Ellesmere Port Stalantis will be a manufacturing facility for electric vans and their MPV derivatives.
The Vauxhall Combo-e, Peugeot e-partner and Citroen e-Berlingo will all be built there, for both the UK and continental European markets. Stellantis aims to halve the plant’s CO2 emissions by 2030 and to make the site carbon neutral by 2038.
The plant was first opened in 1962 to make Vauxhall Viva, then Chevet and – of course – Astra. In its six decades of operation, 5.2 million cars have been built there.
Paul Wilcox, Managing Director, Voxhall and Senior Vice-President, Stellantis, spoke about the plant’s focus on change: Cars on the road for generations.
“With one era off, we are now looking forward to a whole new electric age in Ellesmere, where the site has become the first stalantis plant to make electric vehicles only. Vauxhall is fast moving towards an electric future and I am happy to see the next generation of Vauxhall electric cars made in Britain.
2022 Voxhall Astra Click here to read our review …