Established in 1903, Vauxhall is the only volume manufacturer continuously building vehicles in the UK for over 100 years. Their Ellesmere Port plant, in Cheshire, produces the sixth generation Astra 5-door hatchback and is the sole manufacturer in Europe of the Astra Sports Tourer. The plant has a headcount of 2,100 and the capacity to produce 187,000 units a year on three shifts. In 2007, Ellesmere Port became the first UK manufacturer to receive the Energy Efficiency Accreditation and in 2010 became the first European manufacturing plant to achieve the Wildlife Habitat Accreditation.
In May 2012, GM announced that it would build the next generation Astra in the UK, safeguarding the Ellesmere Port plant until at least the end of the decade. Then in November 2017, the PSA Group completed its purchase of the Vauxhall and Opel brands from GM. The latest generation Astra Hatchback and Sports Tourer remain in production at Ellesmere Port.
Vauxhall also build the 'medium-sized' van, the Vivaro, at their plant in Luton, for sale in the UK and Europe.
Watt Electric Vehicle Company
Watt Electric Vehicle Company is both a manufacturer of premium electric vehicles and technology leader enabling the niche vehicle industry to go electric, thanks to its unique new EV platform. Complying with all ISO standards and meeting European Small Series Type Approval standards, Watt Electric Vehicle Company’s sophisticated modular skateboard architecture can support the low volume production of almost any EV from small passenger car to commercial vehicles.
As the motoring world rapidly accelerates towards 2030, niche manufacturers have a major challenge on their hands. New electric vehicles will require entirely new platforms – but for new start-ups and established low volume brands, the technology investment required is just too high. Watt Electric Vehicle Company enables the niche vehicle industry to go electric with PACES – a highly sophisticated off-the-shelf flexible platform that is not only cost-effective but complies with all ISO standards and European Small Series Type Approval standards.
This state-of-the-art, modular platform has been specifically designed for low volume manufacture, whether for a passenger saloon, sporty rear-wheel drive roadster or commercial vehicle, and also comes fully supported by a leading UK-based EV technology supply chain. Over the last two years, Watt Electric Vehicle Company has undergone an extensive development process with the PACES platform, which is now enabling electrification across the passenger and commercial vehicle sectors. They are based in St Columb Major in Cornwall.
Westfield Autonomous Vehicles is the UKs first provider of fully autonomous vehicles for first mile – last mile transportation Globally Westfield are known for their Seven-style sports cars with over 20,000 sold worldwide. Westfield were the first niche vehicle company in the UK to obtain European Small Series Type Approval for its vehicles, processes and premises.
The Westfield POD is the UK’s first fully autonomous vehicle for first mile – last mile transportation. The POD has been developed in conjunction with Heathrow Airport and utilises the base technology platform from the work completed by ULTra PRT (Personal Rapid Transit).
The original system has now completed over 5 million kilometres in a live commercial environment serving Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 POD Parking. POD trials are currently ongoing, engaging with the general public to explore their perception, understanding and acceptance of autonomous vehicles.
Westfield Sportscars was founded in 1883 by historic grand prix competitor and engineer Chris Smith. By 1991 the company had developed sufficiently to move into their impressive factory in Kingswinford, West Midlands, where they are still manufacturing their popular range of Seven-style sports cars today. In late 2006 ownership of Westfield Sportscars transferred to family owned Potenza Sports Cars and a year later they purchased GTM Cars.
In 2009 Westfield became the first Niche Vehicle Manufacturer to be awarded European Small Series Production Status which immediately expanded their market in Europe. They have sold over 12,000 cars worldwide since 1983 and currently produce over 400 cars a year. The Westfield company itself is now also involved in the design, development and production of various autonomous vehicles, with their Pod now in use in several locations.
They recently aquired the Chesil Motor Company (see seperate listing) who made the Chesil 356 Speedster, a strong nod to Porsche's legendary 1950s ragtop, and will be adding this to their ever-growing list of products.