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.
Wells Motor Cars evolved from the germ of an idea in 2014, imagining a lightweight, modern, sports car. Focusing on feel, sensation and pure pleasure. In many ways, the idea was the deliberate opposite of current trends, which saw cars becoming ever heavier, larger and more complicated, removing involvement and sensation with every additional kilo.
The vision was simple — to offer a car that delivered all-round enjoyment all year, providing a great driving experience for the enthusiast but also offering real practicality and enjoyable ownership for all kinds of customer. The car would be deliberately low-volume and under the radar, taking inspiration from the coach-built motor cars of the past, but without the expense. And so, Wells Motor Cars was born.
Design work commenced in 2016, led by a small team of experienced engineers and designers with wide-ranging backgrounds. Two years of intense CAD and development work followed. And the name Vertige was chosen — conveying lightness, dizziness and excitement.
Between 2018 and 2019 a succession of three prototypes emerged, one after the other, each hand-assembled by the growing teams of engineers and craftsmen, and many thousands of miles of testing and development work followed, on track and road.
In 2021, a limited production run of ‘Founder’s Edition’ cars are being built to order, and are now available to reserve. Wells Motor Cars is committed to reinvigorating Britain’s motor manufacturing heritage, from their base in Warwickshire, in the heart of England. They are proud to have a 100% British supply chain.
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.