28 August 2008

GM Luton

I know this is about cars but I'll stray into vans occasionally.

IBC Vehicles Limited at Luton, Bedfordshire, was formed in 1987 as a joint venture between GM and Isuzu and has been a wholly owned subsidiary of GM since 1998. In 2003, IBC became a dedicated commercial vehicle plant and now produces vans under the Vauxhall, Opel, Renault and Nissan brands. Officially, it employs 1750 workers and can produce 18 vehicles per hour or 90,000 per annum. However, 95,000 GM and Renault vans were built there in 2007 so they must have ramped up production somehow.

Vauxhall Iron Works moved to Luton from London in 1905. In 1925 GM bought the company. The year 2001 saw 113,000 Vectra cars and 35,000 Frontera SUVs made there. From 2002, production shifted to vans. Understanding how many are actually made there is difficult. GM’s claim was during 2006 60,696 GM vans and 28,369 Renault vans were made for a total of 89,065. Where does the Nissan Primastar fit in then? I have no idea. Nissan say 86,500 Primastars were made in Spain but make no reference to Luton.

So overall, it seems a successful operation, which is good to see as it has a long history.