Vauxhall Charges Up The UK. Or is It The Other Way Round?
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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