By on June 27, 2010



I don’t know whether you know, but the UK government has a deficit of £155b which needs to be slashed. On June the 22nd, Chancellor George Osbourne laid out his plans on how to eliminate that ugly budget gap. VAT would be increased to 20 percent from 17.5 percent, civil servants would have their wages frozen and benefits would be slashed. Yep, life is going to be pretty grim in the UK for the next five years. Unless you’re a multi-national company with an electric car up your sleeve.

The Daily Mail reports that Nick Reilly, Head of GM Europe, will meet Business Secretary, Vince Cable, in order to secure £30m in funding to secure production of the Vauxhall Ampera (a.k.a. Chevrolet Volt) at the UK plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. If this all goes ahead, GM Europe will need to invest heavily in a new production line for the Ellesmere Port plant and recruit another 2,000 workers. That’s £15,000 per job, pretty good value for money, but let’s face it, the majority of the money won’t come from UK taxpayers, but US taxpayers, right?  Nick Reilly is pro-UK because (apart from the funding) he believes that Ellesmere Port “ticks most of the boxes”. (It could also tick-off the stingy Germans, who needs them, anyway?) The unions and management’s relationships are good and productivity is high there. The UK government, apart from providing £30m in funding, is supporting this project by standing by previous commitments to subsidize electric cars to the tune of £5000 per vehicle and create an electric car infrastructure. This funding is in parallel with the government giving Nissan £20m to bring the Leaf to the UK. With all these electric cars, the UK’s air quality will be ultra clean …oh hang on…

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12 Comments on “Vauxhall Charges Up The UK. Or is It The Other Way Round?...”


  • avatar
    Geo. Levecque

    Well knowing the United Kingdom the way I do, I somehow don’t think a Electrical Car will help the average citizen in the UK, now will it created “jobs” and produce a lot of income for the UK government.

    That being said who will buy these Cars in the first place? All I see in the future is a lot of out of work for most Brits!

  • avatar
    shaker

    The image is missing the Pink Polyester Hovering Hog; I’m sure that many people think that electric cars will be the norm when pigs are “on the wing”.

  • avatar

    Awesome industrial building is awesome. Stephen King would approve.

  • avatar
    john.fritz

    I wonder if there’s going to be special parking places for these electric shitboxes right up next to the handicapped spots. Surely business owners are going to place complementary electrical outlets in front of their establishments for the convenience of the patrons.

  • avatar
    ExPatBrit

    Battersea Power Plant is also just up-river from the Vauxhall district of London where the cars were built until 1905.

  • avatar
    reclusive_in_nature

    Better their country than mine! Oh wait….

  • avatar
    vww12

    Wow, that is one good looking building. Very rational.

    The wiki article about the UK’s power generation is fun. It establishes that they will probably run out of juice and that large swaths of the population believe their power will magically flow from unicorn tears, not from nuclear, gas, or coal assets. I’ll get the popcorn.

  • avatar
    Patrickj

    I hope GM (Vauxhall) is doing better in the UK than in Ireland.

    I recently spent a couple of weeks in Ireland, and noticed that GM (Opel) has all but disappeared from the car market over the past five years.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Maybe they’ll have to restart the filthy Battersea when all these “green” cars humming about.

  • avatar
    MarcKyle64

    Came here to say something about Pink Floyd, that image is so iconic!

  • avatar
    Tricky Dicky

    Battersea Powerstation closed in 1983 and no one has been brave enough to knock it down, because of it’s iconic status. There’s a 200 acre site in the centre of London, so it’s massively valuable. It was designed by the same guy who made the famous British Telephone booths!

    It’s embarassing to see Nick Reilly going around Europe trying to auction off Ampera production to all the governments. OK, it’s the UK now, but I expect he’ll turn up in Madrid next week with his begging bowl. Must hurt his sense of dignity.


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