Car makers: We won't copy Vauxhall and close factories

The UK's largest car manufacturers have told Autoblog they do not plan to follow Vauxhall's lead and shut down their plants for any breaks.

Vauxhall revealed this week that it will be halting production at Ellesmere Port, where the Astra is produced, and at its Luton Van Plant, for seven days from September 24.
The GM-owned company said reduced demand for its products across Europe, as the economic crisis deepens, has led to the decision to close the lines down for a time.

However, Autoblog can reveal that the other volume producers in the UK – Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover – say they have no plans to follow suit. In fact, some are even increasing production capacity.

Nissan is the UK's largest car producer and builds the Juke and Qashqai at its Sunderland facility, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2011. Last year the factory produced an astonishing 480,485 cars.

A spokesman for the brand told Autoblog: "There are no plans to shut plants from us. Demand for our cars is still strong, especially for Qashqai. Production on the Qashqai line is now running at one car every minute."

It was a similar story at Toyota, which has two facilities in the UK – a car plant at Burnaston in Derbyshire and an engine facility at Deeside in North Wales.

A spokesman told Autoblog: "Toyota's commitment to European production continues with the new-generation Auris, officially unveiled in Paris this month, beginning production at the Burnaston plant later this year, supplying the European market with Toyota's latest offering in the C segment.

"Petrol, diesel and hybrid derivatives will be produced alongside the Avensis model which was refreshed for 2012."

Honda's huge plant at Swindon has also recently started rolling out the new Civic model and when asked if it was planning to halt production a spokesman told us it was a case of "anything but" and added: "Expect a major announcement from Honda on Thursday."

Jaguar Land Rover is on a high at the moment and with that success has come increased demand on its plants. A spokesman told Autoblog that a shut-down at its Halewood and Castle Bromwich factories was out of the question.

"There are no plans on our side," he said. "Halewood has just moved to 24-hour production, Solihull is gearing up for the new Range Rover and Castle Bromwich for XF Sportbrake and F-Type."

So what's gone wrong at Vauxhall? Is it a case of the wrong products for the current market or have the other car manufacturers just got it right?

Let us know your thoughts by posting your comments below.
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