Vauxhall prepares to reopen its Luton factory as Vivaro van production resumes

May 15, 2020

Vauxhall’s factory in Kimpton Road, Luton

VAUXHALL is finalising its plans ahead of reopening its Luton factory on Monday (May 18).

Production of the Vivaro van range will resume amid measures to ensure enhanced protection for Vauxhall workers that have been approved after an extensive audit programme.

Vauxhall is planning a gradual and secured resumption of manufacturing, the company said. 

Luton plant director Colin MacDonald said: “Since the shutdown of our site, we have implemented a reinforced health protocol on our industrial site with the support of our medical service and in close collaboration with our union partners. Thanks to this collective effort, validated by the audit that took place on May 4, we can resume the manufacturing of the commercial vehicles in a progressive and safe manner.”

The Vauxhall Vivaro, manufactured at the company’s factory in Luton.

Since the start of the Covid-19 health crisis, Vauxhall’s parent company Groupe PSA’s priority has been to protect the health of its employees and ensure the sustainability of the company. During the shutdown period of its production activities, Groupe PSA deployed a protocol of reinforced health measures, adapted to the context of each industrial, commercial, tertiary and R&D site. 

Built with the health services, the protocol has been agreed by representative trade union organisations and has been subject to systematic audits. Auditors will be responsible for daily verifying of the application of barrier measures and gestures on the site and implementing corrective actions, if necessary.

Groupe PSA’s EVP manufacturing Yann Vincent said: “Protecting our employees and protecting our company remain the two intangible principles for the management of our operations. Our enhanced measures protocol offers a high level of protection to our employees and is the first criterion for restarting our manufacturing sites. 

“As industrial activity is driven by commercial activity, which is our second criterion, we are gradually and securely relaunching our industrial system to manufacture the cars expected by our customers. These two criteria will guide our decisions for the coming weeks and months.” 

Measures implemented

  • Use wherever possible of individual transport. For carpooling and public transport, provision of masks and pre-defined filling rule (staggered placement from the back of the bus);
  • Temperature check at the entrance to the site in addition to symptom self-monitoring file;
  • Individual supply of masks and hydro alcoholic gel;
  • Wearing glasses and masks on site;
  • Respect for a distance between people throughout the site, including rest areas, smoking areas with floor markings;
  • Keep doors open (except fire doors) to avoid contact with the handles;
  • Frequent cleaning of tools and work surfaces;
  • Waiting time during any exchange of parts not prepared in the PSA environment;
  • Adjustment of rotations between teams’ shifts to avoid crossovers.
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