Vauxhall moves to four-day week at its Ellesmere Port plant to save utility costs image

Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port plant will move to a four-day week as the carmaker’s owner, General Motors, wants to cut costs at its European operations.

More than 2,000 workers are employed at Ellesmere Port, but they will still work a 38-hour week. The move comes nearly five months after Vauxhall, the UK government and the Unite trade union saved the plant from closure. Also, a month ago, Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton plants were closed for a week in order to cope with a slowdown in sales.

According to Vauxhall, the move would save energy costs at the plant. “Vauxhall has concluded a new operating agreement at its Ellesmere Port plant which condenses a five-day working week into four days with subsequent savings in utility costs,” a spokesman was quoted as saying by The Guardian.

The move will also allow time for installing equipment to make the next-generation Astra at the plant, a project that has saved it from closure and guaranteed its future beyond 2015. Demand for cars in western Europe is decreasing as the eurozone crisis continues. Some analysts forecast car deliveries will fall by 800,000 units this year to 13.6 million, 19 percent below the 2007 peak of 16.8 million units.