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Jobs saved as Vauxhall announces it will build Vivaro van in Luton

The next generation of Vauxhall's Vivaro van is to be built at its Luton factory, safeguarding the plant and over 1,000 jobs.

There had been fears the site could close if the current contract between Vauxhall and Renault was not renewed after it runs out in 2013.

Unite union said it was “fantastic news” which had ended uncertainty over jobs.

Vauxhall confirmed yesterday that the next generation Vivaro would be built at its plant in Luton. And said the plant would continue to play an “important role” in the company’s manufacturing network.

Nick Reilly, president of General Motors Europe, which includes Vauxhall in the UK and Opel in Germany, said recently that a decision was imminent, adding that all options were still under consideration.

Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey said it was “fantastic news”. “It secures the future of Vauxhall in Luton and puts to rest any uncertainty over jobs.”

Without a new model Luton would have closed - the plant now had work until at least 2050 and 1,500 had been secured, he said.

“The efforts of Vauxhall's chairman, Nick Reilly, were pivotal in securing an agreement with Renault and we are extremely grateful for the part he played.

“This decision is also down to the hard work of the workforce and savings they made,” McCluskey said.

Luton is the last volume manufacturer of commercial vans left in the UK and Unite said it will produce 62,000 units a year.

Renault's Trafic version of the van, currently made in Luton, will switch to its plant in Sandouville, France, from 2013.

Around 1,130 directly-employed staff work at Luton as well as hundreds of contractors, taking the total to 1,500.

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