Luton’s Vauxhall plant is to close for a week in September, due to a downturn in demand for vehicles on the continent.
The company this week announced the ‘down week’ for both its Luton and Ellesmere Port plants, to avoid stock building up.
A spokeswoman for Luton’s Kimpton Road plant, where the Vauxhall Vivaro van is manufactured, said: “As a major exporter and following the downturn in mainland Europe, Vauxhall manufacturing operations in Ellesmere Port and in Luton are implementing a down week from September 24.
“This is to avoid building up stock by balancing inventory with customer orders.
“Hours lost will be paid as normal and ‘banked’ for payback in the future according to volume requirements.”
The spokeswoman said that the company would take advantage of the closure by using the time to install new robots that will be used in the manufacturing of the new generation Vivaro, production of which is due to start in 2014.
Unite union spokesman Andy Faughnan said the government needed to do more to stimulate the economy in the UK, so that demand for vans increased at home.
“The concern we’ve got is that there’s no policy coming forward for growth in sectors that would create orders and keep the economy going,” he said.
“The current economic situation isn’t assisting manufacturing in general for vans.
“We need growth in things like house building and road building.
“Major projects that have been put on ice need to have funds released so they can go ahead.
“Fleet groups need to be ordering new vans.
“It boils down to the fact that quite clearly there’s a lack of investment coming through from the government.
“If that doesn’t change we’re going to see more of this in 2013.”