Stellantis celebrates 60 years of new car production at famous Ellesmere Port plant

  • Stellantis’ Ellesmere Port plant is celebrating 60 years since the first car rolled off the production line
  • Production started in June 1964 with the Vauxhall Viva
  • More than 5.8m vehicles have been built at the plant since 1964

Time 7:06 am, June 12, 2024

Staff at Stellantis’s Ellesmere Port plant have been raising a glass in celebration as the plant toasts 60 years of vehicle manufacturing.

This month marks six decades since the very first Vauxhall Viva rolled off the Cheshire production line on June 1, 1964.

Since then, the site has been at the heart of the British car building industry, with Stellantis’s recently moving to secure its future by investing more than £100m to make it a specialist EV site.

To mark the latest anniversary, the factory has been hosting a special birthday event, attended by plant staff and local dignitaries.

Among those to be invited was Keith Tabiner, who was on the production line at Ellesmere Port in 1964 when the first Viva was produced. His three sons, Mark, Mike and Phil, also work at plant today, meaning that the Tabiner family has a combined 152 years of employment at the site.

Diane Miller, Ellesmere Port plant director, said: ‘We are excited to mark such an impressive milestone, celebrating production that began sixty years ago with the Viva, and now continues into the future with electric vans from Fiat, Citroen, Peugeot, Opel and Vauxhall.

‘For six decades, Ellesmere Port has been a central pillar of the local area, and whose people have continually taken great pride in their work at the plant to provide millions of vehicles for the UK and beyond, and now continue to do so in the transition to a more sustainable future.’

[The very first Viva to leave Ellesmere Port in June 1964 ©Stellantis]

Ellesmere Port was constructed in 1962 and opened for production of the Viva in 1964.

Since then, it has been the home of several famous models including the Vauxhall Chevette and, since 1980, seven generations of the Astra.

During its lifetime, the plant produced more than a million Vivas, a quarter of a million Chevettes, and 4.1 million Astras.

Maria Grazia Davino, group managing director of Stellantis UK, added: ‘It is gratifying to celebrate six decades of vehicle production at Ellesmere Port, which continues to produce the latest generation of electric vans.

‘Stellantis is the only OEM producing vans, including electric vans, in volume in the UK, and I would like to share my congratulations to the employees at the plant, who continue to work incredibly hard to produce the vehicles that will help to electrify businesses across the UK and in the more than 20 countries to which we export electric vans.’

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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