Vauxhall Vivaro 2900 2.0 CDTi

Van production at Vauxhall’s Luton and Ellesmere Port plants totalled more than 58,000 units in 2012, making the company the UK’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer for the 11th year running.

Total production at Luton for Vivaro vans was 53,465, with manufacturing at Ellesmere Port contributing 5,373 Astravans to the 58,838 total.

In keeping with the decline across the market, production figures at Luton have dropped incrementally in recent years, with Vivaro production in 2012 down by 14,638 units to 68,103 vehicles in 2011.

Vauxhall says both plants will continue production into the next decade with the new Vivaro, scheduled for 2014, set to continue production at Luton; and the next generation of Astra passenger car due to start in 2015, with Ellesmere Port having been named the lead European manufacturing plant.

However, production of the compact three-door van will not continue, Vauxhall chairman and MD Duncan Aldred has previously said that due to the breadth of the new Combo range, the Astravan will not be replaced beyond 2013.

“It is a falling niche that in its peak sold 10,000 units per year, but when you’ve got a van as good as the new Combo you don’t need the Astravan,” he said.

Dip in registrations

Vauxhall vans saw a dip in UK registrations during 2012, with the number of new vehicles below 3.5-tonnes dropping 20.9% to 26,524 units.

Vauxhall’s LCV market share fell by nearly two percentage points to 11%, while Volkswagen’s share increased fractionally, allowing the German manufacturer to take second place behind Ford (26%) with a 13% market share.

Despite a drop in registrations, Vauxhall did see an increase in the number of its LCVs sold to retail customers, beating other manufacturers to the top sport by selling more than 11,000 vehicles to small businesses.