LUTON -- PSA will decide in 2020 whether to keep its Vauxhall car plant in Ellesmere Port, northwest England, open with new investment as it improves efficiency and awaits the outcome of Brexit talks.
On Wednesday, PSA unveiled new investment to boost van production at its other British manufacturing site in Luton near London. It will add Peugeot and Citroen models and produce a new version of the Vauxhall/Vivaro van on PSA's new EMP2 platform.
PSA needed to decide now on van production because the Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro was due to be replaced.
However, CEO Carlos Tavares said the automaker could wait until 2020 to make a decision regarding car production at Ellesmere Port, where he said the current run of Astra models ends as late as 2023.
"Product allocations need to be done reasonably three years ahead of the launch which means 2023 minus three equals 2020," he said.
"2020 is a perfect meeting point for what is the result that we have achieved in terms of manufacturing competitiveness in terms of quality and cost.... and from the other side, what the UK is going to provide is what's the final outcome of Brexit."
The head of Britain's biggest trade union, Unite, told Reuters he thought PSA could make a decision on putting in a new vehicle platform into Ellesmere Port sooner than 2020.
"We would be expecting a lot earlier than that ... hopefully this year," Len McCluskey said.
PSA, which last year acquired Opel/Vauxhall from General Motors, is cutting a third of Ellesmere Port's workforce, sparking fears over the factory's future following Brexit.