As the home of the Vauxhall Astra, Ellesmere Port has been making the British-built car for almost 40 years. Now employees have marked the landmark moment the 4-millionth car rolled off the production line with a choreographed display of 236 Astra Sport Tourers to spell out the feat.
Making the Astra since 1981, the plant has provided employment to generations of local families, ploughing millions into the local economy.
The celebratory image, which took 12-hours, 57 red and 179 white cars to assemble, spelled out the achievement in Astra’s trademark red, honouring the thousands of employees who have contributed to the impressive milestone.
Ellesmere Port has produced all seven generations of the famous Astra, exporting over two million vehicles to 25 European markets and even Australia in the early years. Today it employs nearly 2,000 people and many more depend on it in the supply chain as it builds approximately 680 Astras a day.
Ten Vauxhall Astra facts:
- The Vauxhall Astra replaced the Viva and was the first Vauxhall model with front wheel drive
- One in four Brits has owned or driven an Astra
- The height of 4 million Astras is the equivalent to 62,500 Big Bens
- Collectively we’ve driven 216 billion miles in Astras – that’s enough to drive to the sun and back 1, 161 times
- The length of 4 million Astras would take you to China and back
- The name of the Vauxhall Astra derives from the Latin Astralis meaning the stars
- The Astra has always been a popular Police patrol car – the Mk6 model was used by 54 different constabularies
- Multi-award winning, the Astra most recently won European Car of the Year in 2016
- Not just Brit-built, the current Astra was designed by a team led by Brits Mark Adams and Malcolm Ward
- The Astra became the fourth ‘Reasonably Priced Car’ on BBC Top Gear and driven by Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Olly Murs, Aaron Paul and Warwick Davis
Denis Chick, Director of Communications at Vauxhall Motors adds: “The Vauxhall Astra has been one of Britain’s best-selling and loved cars for almost four decades, and we’re proud to manufacture it here in the UK at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. We felt the production of our 4 millionth Astra was worth celebrating and, as always, the team at Ellesmere Port has stepped up to the challenge by creating this stunning image.”
Vauxhall Motors has invested over £200 million in the Ellesmere Port factory in recent years and it remains a stalwart of British manufacturing. With nearly 80 per cent of Ellesmere Port vehicles currently exported out of the UK, it’s set to continue as a major supplier to customers both home and abroad.