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    Luton

    Posted by Man on 2/8/2022, 9:19:17

    Whats the best Luton firm you've seen at an away game, for me Watford away League cup 2002, great result, great atmosphere

      Re: Luton

      Posted by Pete sports on 2/8/2022, 10:05:14, in reply to "Luton"

      The arndale markets finest sportswear apparel feared by many market sports wear competitors everywhere they went

        Re: Luton

        Posted by Nin on 2/8/2022, 9:58:53, in reply to "Luton"

        Vauxhall employed almost 28,000 back in the day, surely the biggest.

          Re: Luton

          Posted by Norris on 2/8/2022, 11:16:42, in reply to "Re: Luton"

          Until the Unions brought the end to production at Luton through repeated walk outs and stupid wage demands. Still the Spanish did well out of it with a lower production cost per unit due to lower pay demands. Via Europe eh?

            You're talking

            Posted by The Orange Salopian on 2/8/2022, 11:59:37, in reply to "Re: Luton"

            Sh!t.

            The closure of the Luton Car Plant was based on one thing and one thing only, it was the cheapest to close. With IBC starting the Vivaro production it meant they could transfer a large number of employees at minimal cost. A number also went to Ellesmere Port at low cost to the company and the majority of the new equipment that was being planned for the new Vectra Launch had not been installed so was easily transferable. The land also had great value.

            They identified 3 plants for potential closure based on cost, Luton, Ellesmere Port and Antwerp and Luton came out as the cheapest to close. It was a typical GME panic decision to close their most profitable plant based on pure closure cost.

              Dont let the facts get in the way eh?

              Posted by Norris on 2/8/2022, 13:08:21, in reply to "You're talking"

              Mrs. Castle "I cannot accept that there have been bad relations between the company and the unions in this case. What we are talking about is an understanding entered into between the company and the union. In this situation the company is abiding by that understanding, and the problem we face is that 10 members of the union are just taking the law into their own hands in defiance of the procedures their union has negotiated. The problem here, not everywhere I agree, is the relationship between the individual members of the trade union and the union's official representatives, who have negotiated understandings which a minority of individual workers are defying"https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1969/mar/07/vauxhall-motors-strike

                Re: Dont let the facts get in the way eh?

                Posted by The Orange Salopian on 2/8/2022, 19:49:24, in reply to "Dont let the facts get in the way eh?"

                and I worked at Vauxhall for 30 years. At the time of the closure I was based in Rüsselsheim and knew someone in Zurich that was involved in the process of deciding which plant to close. It was purely looked at in terms of cheapest to close, do you not think if in anyway it was based on past unions issues the nEllesmere Port would have been number one choice.

                  Time warp nonsense spotted

                  Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 13:17:35, in reply to "Dont let the facts get in the way eh?"

                  That was in 1969 you prune! So hardly relevant to what happened in 1981 is it.

                  Re: You're talking

                  Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 12:25:05, in reply to "You're talking"

                  I think it's fairly safe to say that Norris always talks shit - it's a pretty feeble routine that gets rumbled time after time.

                    Loads of this online

                    Posted by Norris on 2/8/2022, 13:14:54, in reply to "Re: You're talking"

                    Operations there were affected by production cutbacks and two major strikes in 1977 and 1979.

                    Link: https://www.encyclopedia.com/books/politics-and-business-magazines/vauxhall-motors-limited

                      All the old selective quoting gambit.

                      Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 13:25:05, in reply to "Loads of this online"

                      In context:

                       1969 through 1986, the company made money during only one year, 1978. Its share of the British car market fell to as low as 7.3 percent (1973) before recovering in the early 1980s, hitting 16.2 percent in 1984. The reasons for this poor performance were multifold. Vauxhall's larger models, the Victor and Ventora, did not sell well in part because of quality problems stemming from the Luton plant. Operations there were affected by production cutbacks and two major strikes in 1977 and 1979. More generally, the U.K. car market was hit hard by the oil crisis, economic recession, and increased competition, particularly from Japanese and European imports. Ironically, during this same period Vauxhall's Bedford truck and van operation was highly profitable, but GM elected to separate it from Vauxhall in 1983, creating the Bedford Commercial Vehicle Division.

                      In the meantime, a key shift occurred in 1978 when GM officials further pulled the reins back on Vauxhall's autonomy by assigning Opel engineers in Rüsselsheim, Germany, the task of designing new cars for both Opel and Vauxhall. This brought an end to British-designed Vauxhalls, with the FE Victor, produced from 1972 to 1976, representing the last of that breed. This decision, though painful to British pride, helped to bring about Vauxhall's recovery by the mid-1980s. The Chevette, sporting the hatchback that became common on later Vauxhall models, was successfully introduced in 1978 as the replacement for the Viva. Vauxhall also began selling the Cavalier, an Opeldesigned model filling the gap between the Chevette and Victor ranges. Starting in the early 1980s, the Cavalier became immensely popular with buyers of "fleet" or company cars, a sector that comprised as much as half of the U.K. market. Sales of the Cavalier passed the one million mark by July 1988, and Vauxhall continued producing the model in Luton through 1995. During this period, the Cavalier represented as much as one-third of Vauxhall's overall production. Also Opel-designed was the Astra, introduced in 1980 as Vauxhall's first front-wheel-drive car. The Cavalier and the Astra were consistently among the top ten—and sometimes the top five—best-selling cars in Britain. Rounding out the 1980s model lineup were the high-end Carlton, introduced in 1979, and the Nova subcom-pact, which debuted in 1983 as a two-door sedan.

                      1990s and Beyond

                      Vauxhall remained profitable throughout the 1990s, though the amount of profits fluctuated substantially. Its share of the U.K. car market reached as high as 17.2 percent (1993). In July 1993 Vauxhall gained the leading share of the U.K. market for the first time in its 90-year history, garnering 23.2 percent of sales versus 20.3 percent for Ford, the longstanding market leader—just a one-month achievement, but an achievement nonetheless. A number of new vehicles saw their way into the Vauxhall lineup, including the Frontera four-wheel-drive recreational vehicle (1991); the Corsa hatchback (1993), which replaced the Nova; the Tigra sports coupe (1993); the Omega (1994), successor on the luxury end to the Carlton; the Vectra sedan and wagon (1995), which replaced the Cavalier; and the Sintra minivan (1996), which was quickly replaced by the better-received Zafira (1999), a seven-person, flexible-seat minivan based on the Astra platform. In addition the Astra was completely redesigned in 1998. The Vectra did not sell as well as the Cavalier and was panned in the press, but the Astra remained a bestseller in its class.

                      GM backed up Vauxhall with several large capital investments during the decade. In late 1992 production began at a new £193 million engine facility at the Ellesmere Port plant. The V6 engines produced there were slated for use in higher-end models of not only Vauxhalls but Opels and Saabs as well (GM having purchased a 50 percent interest in Saab Automobile AB in 1989). In 1996 Vauxhall announced a £300 million modernization program at Ellesmere Port to raise capacity from 135,000 cars and vans per year to 200,000 and to prepare for the 1998 introduction of the next-generation Astra.

                      Then came the stunning news from GM in December 2000 that production would cease at the Luton plant, leading to the elimination of 2,000 jobs. This was part of a larger GM restructuring aiming in part to address the overcapacity that was plaguing carmakers worldwide. The Luton plant in particular was selected for closure in part because it was an older and less efficient facility. It did not help that it was the struggling Vectra model that was being produced there. Part of the Vectra production was slated to be shifted to GM plants in Spain and Germany, but in 2001 the Ellesmere Port factory received a £200 million capital injection in order to transform it into a so-called flex plant, capable of producing both a new version of the Vectra, which debuted in mid-2002, and the Astra at the same time. On March 21, 2002, the 7,415,045th—and last—car rolled off the assembly line at Luton, bringing to a close 97 years of auto production in that facility. Vauxhall Motors remained headquartered in Luton.

                      Along with the entire GM European operation, Vauxhall posted losses throughout the early 2000s. Its models were criticized for being unimaginative, and it was hurt by an image of being a maker of fleet cars. The car market was stagnant during this period, and the competition fierce. GM turned to centralization as a way of turning things around in Europe. Late in 2003 the company announced that it would integrate the sales, marketing, and after-sales operations of its European brands, including Vauxhall, Opel, and Saab. Then in June 2005 a major overhaul of GM's European operations was launched that further reduced the autonomy of Vauxhall, Opel, and Saab, shifting responsibility for engineering and manufacturing to the regional headquarters in Zurich. This was part of a larger effort to centralize global product development, cutting overlapping engineering projects and reducing costs worldwide. Whether this would reduce the Vauxhall company itself to merely a marketing and sales organization was not initially clear. One certainty was that the Vauxhall lineup would be thoroughly overhauled, because GM planned to replace 90 percent of its models by 2008. Vauxhall had found great success with the new fifth-generation version of the Astra, which debuted in May 2004. Stellar sales of the Astra pushed Vauxhall ahead of Ford in U.K. market share for two of the first four months of 2005, prompting hopes in Luton that Vauxhall might beat out its arch-rival for the full year and finally end Ford's quartercentury-long dominance of the British car market. Meanwhile, an all-new version of the Zafira minivan hit the market in July 2005. GM also was considering assembling some Vauxhall (and Opel) vehicles in North America and then shipping them to Europe.



                      Further Reading

                      Brady, Rosemary, "Battle for Britain," Forbes, July 2, 1984, pp. 164–65.

                      Broatch, Stuart Fergus, Vauxhall, Stroud, U.K.: Sutton Publishing, 1997.

                      Burgess-Wise, David, Vauxhall: A Century in Motion, 1903–2003, Oxford: CW Publishing, published on behalf of Vauxhall Motors Limited, 2003.

                      Burt, Tim, "Spotlight Turns Towards Vauxhall's Cost Drive," Financial Times, October 18, 1999, p. 3.

                      ——, "Vauxhall Chief Making Progress," Financial Times, September 16, 1999, p. 7.

                      Burt, Tim, and Jim Pickard, "Vauxhall Puts £200m into Merseyside Vectra Plant," Financial Times, February 6, 2001.

                      Burt, Tim, and John Griffiths, "Vauxhall Chief Blames Price Cuts for Closure," Financial Times, December 16, 2000.

                      Champion, Marc, "U.K. Hit Hard in Europe's Auto Cutbacks," Wall Street Journal, December 15, 2000, p. A15.

                      Church, Roy, The Rise and Decline of the British Motor Industry, Basingstoke, U.K.: Macmillan, 1994.

                      Copelin, P.W., "Development and Organisation of Vauxhall Motors Limited," in Studies in Business Organisation, edited by Ronald S. Edwards and Harry Townsend, London: Macmillan, 1961.

                      Holden, Len, Vauxhall Motors and the Luton Economy, 1900–2002, Woodbridge, Suffolk, U.K.: Boydell Press, 2003.

                      Johnson, Richard, "NUMMI Payoff: Hendry Brings New Approach to Rebuild Vauxhall Operation," Automotive News, June 20, 1988, pp. 1, 50.

                      Kimberly, William, "Vauxhall Ups Its Flexibility in Ellesmere Port," Automotive Design and Production, September 2002, p. 28.

                      Kurylko, Diana L., "GM Struggles to Regain Status in Europe," Automotive News, August 3, 1998, p. 47.

                      "Less of the Cavalier Attitude," Marketing Week, March 28, 2002, p. 23.

                      Power, Stephen, "GM Europe to Get a Major Tune-Up," Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2004, p. A6.

                      ——, "GM Plans Major Overhaul of Business in Europe," Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2004, p. A3.

                      Simison, Robert L., "GM's Europe Unit Unveils Astra Line of Compact Cars," Wall Street Journal, July 12, 1991.

                      "Vauxhall's Lukewarm Drive for a Cool Image," Marketing News, May 13, 2004, p. 23.

                      The Vauxhall Story, Luton, Bedfordshire: Vauxhall Motors Limited, Education Service, 2001.

                      Wendt, Ed, "Tune-Up Helps Vauxhall Gain on Ford," Automotive News, April 27, 1992, p. 9.

                      —David E. Salamie

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                        Re: All the old selective quoting gambit.

                        Posted by Norris on 2/8/2022, 13:36:33, in reply to "All the old selective quoting gambit."

                        Well that's just your frustration in me posting some proof of Union impact on Vauxhalls relation ship with Luton being blighted by repeated industrial action.

                        I worked in the body in white section and was forced to join one of the 2 unions on offer as it was a closed shop. On my training week I was told I couldn't enter the shop floor if I didn't pay 'subs' a union. 3 Weeks into my work and we were all on half shift walk outs due to the pay dispute even though many voted to accept what was a fair offer. Pickets manned the gates to enforce pressure on people like me who decided to still turn in for their shift. Threats a many but thankfully all mouth and so the numbers who broke the strike grew until it was pointless.

                        Those that worked there knew they had decent pay for the era and secure jobs but the Union actions year on year impacted on the company performance.

                          Re: All the old selective quoting gambit.

                          Posted by Penthouse on 2/8/2022, 16:09:38, in reply to "Re: All the old selective quoting gambit."

                          I worked at Vauxhall for 46 years, it was never a closed shop. You may have been told that but it never was.

                            Re: All the old selective quoting gambit.

                            Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 13:43:33, in reply to "Re: All the old selective quoting gambit."

                            No doubting that, or that the car sector was influenced by greedy unions (as were several other sectors) but you said that was why Vauxhall closed and as everyone can see that wasn't the case.

                            Your're just using it to further your routine and as usual it doesn't stand up to inspection. As the cars often didn't - it wasn't the unions who, for instance, decided to, as someone in the paint shop said to me, spray paint onto the metal so thin it was like fresh air!

                            The Orange Salopian worked there too and his analysis is spot on. I'll be chatting to him on Saturday no doubt if there's anything you'd like to question: he still works in the sector too.

                              Re: All the old selective quoting gambit.

                              Posted by Penthouse on 2/8/2022, 16:19:41, in reply to "Re: All the old selective quoting gambit."

                              Misled again, all paint "depth" has to meet a required standard, regular checks are performed to ensure the required standard is made. Anything other than the required standard would fail an inspection and be visable on the finish, for example it wouldn't look as shiny.

                                Re: All the old selective quoting gambit.

                                Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 17:31:07, in reply to "Re: All the old selective quoting gambit."

                                I think you missed my point mate: the joke always was that the paint was applied to metal so thin that it might as well have been sprayed onto thin air!

                                Anyhow, good to get perspective from someone who worked there for so long.

                                Re: All the old selective quoting gambit.

                                Posted by Norris on 2/8/2022, 13:46:37, in reply to "Re: All the old selective quoting gambit."

                                No chance the other side of the coin might be as biased as me

                                  Re: All the old selective quoting gambit.

                                  Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 14:05:41, in reply to "Re: All the old selective quoting gambit."

                                  Not as biased, no. I am open to criticising unions as and when is appropriate and the car sector was one where I think some greed was shown. I also worked under bizarre conditions on that basis at Whitbread back in the day.

                                  But those 'cushy numbers' weren't brought to an end by the unions - the finger should be pointed very directly at GM in the US. They didn't give a shiny shit about knackering the whole town.

                              Re: Ah, the old selective quoting gambit.

                              Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 13:27:33, in reply to "All the old selective quoting gambit."

                              Ah, not all. And sorry to anyone looking in for not deleting the lengthy reference section. The body copy is sufficient.

                                1978

                                Posted by Norris on 2/8/2022, 13:44:49, in reply to "Re: Ah, the old selective quoting gambit."

                                October 19 - Assembly Workers vote to strike on 5% pay offer from company
                                October 24 - Workers reject Unions strike call against company pay offer
                                October 30 - Vauxhall given 2 Week strike notice bt 4000 workers

                                Shit Unions

                                Link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/23874740

                                  Re: 1978

                                  Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 13:51:22, in reply to "1978"

                                  Again, selective: what about, on that document, the plumbers, Ford workers etc and what they received or rejected?

                                  You really should look properly at what reference you post, not just cherry pick.

                                  As an aside, I'm just pointing out that your overall claim that the unions brought Vauxhall down is bollocks.

                                    Re: 1978

                                    Posted by Norris on 2/8/2022, 14:03:20, in reply to "Re: 1978"

                                    I can cherry pick if I like... who doesn't?
                                    The unions at the very least didn't help the companies productivity (where were they when the people you described turned out substandard work) and why didn't they prioritise company profits to protect jobs at a time of increased competition for a competitive and shrinking market (and instead drive up the overheads).
                                    The alternative was to get real and focus on what people had (reasonable pay, great conditions and secure work) instead of money money money.
                                    Ask yourself if you think this had anything to do with the decision to roll out the Nova in a purpose built factory in Zaragoza, Spain.
                                    Business exist where profits exist... or else why would they?

                                      Re: 1978

                                      Posted by Nearly a Genius on 2/8/2022, 14:40:31, in reply to "Re: 1978"

                                      Just out of interest
                                      Do you think that factory and other workers would have had such safe working spaces (guards on machines, steel-toe-capped boots, length of working hours, etc. were it not for trades unions?

                                        Re: 1978

                                        Posted by Penthouse on 2/8/2022, 16:32:12, in reply to "Re: 1978"

                                        Correct Nag, in my years at Vauxhall safety standards were driven by unions and management were held accountable. Lets not also forget the legal protection unions give to members. How anyone can criticise trade unions when they attempt to negotiate better pay, safer and better conditions is beyond me.

                                          Re: 1978

                                          Posted by Nearly a Genius on 2/8/2022, 16:40:42, in reply to "Re: 1978"

                                          Absolutely

                                        Re: 1978

                                        Posted by crumpsall on 2/8/2022, 14:09:14, in reply to "Re: 1978"

                                        Business exist where profits exist... or else why would they?

                                        And that's why we need trade unions to protect the rights and future of workers and their communities as well as the business. Not hard to grasp, surely?

                          Re: Luton

                          Posted by Actually on 2/8/2022, 11:29:56, in reply to "Re: Luton"

                          The walkouts only started as a protest after massive forced redundancies were announced. Vauxhall's close down was all about critical under investment in the UK by GM, cynically exploiting cheap labour then available in Spain due to the state of their economy. But then you already know that, don't you, you sad little man with your shit routine.

                      Re: Luton

                      Posted by Andy Cappucino on 2/8/2022, 9:56:45, in reply to "Luton"

                      Saw a couple of lawyers at Cambridge in 1982, all wigged up.

                        Re: Luton

                        Posted by Old Timer on 2/8/2022, 9:45:19, in reply to "Luton"

                        Back in the 60's before the days of the Football specials I would have said Seamarks.

                        Think United Counties too, sometimes.

                          Re: Luton

                          Posted by Man on 2/8/2022, 9:52:13, in reply to "Re: Luton"

                          I remember tricentrol coaches

                        Re: Luton

                        Posted by pingu on 2/8/2022, 9:41:42, in reply to "Luton"

                        ill leave this for Essex Hatter and Godders to add value.

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