Shed a tear: It’s the end of the road for the Astravan.
That once staple of the trades – the great Vauxhall Astravan – is on the way out.
Vauxhall says it only sells some 3,000 Astravans every year. In its place will come – not a car-derived van – but a proper compact panel van, the new Combo, which is made in Turkey
The Vauxhall Combo will start appearing in Vauxhall van showrooms next year.
The decision to end Astravan building alongside the hatchback Astra was given by Vauxhall chairman and managing director Duncan Aldred at the CV Show in the NEC.
Aldred announced that Vauxhall’s parent company GM had seen a turnaround during the last 12 months and after announcing the €150 Million investment in Luton to build the next generation of medium sized vans it was now well on track to bring them to market in 2014.
The CV Show debut of the new Vauxhall Combo van range will see the latest models in dealerships over the next few weeks – and they promise low emissions and reduced running costs to small van operators thanks to the latest advances in engineering and design.
The end of Astravan production should not raise any concerns about the viability of Ellesmere Port’s future, confirmed a Vauxhall insider.
“Astravan was peculiar to the UK and the numbers are very small and will be matched by the availability of the new Combo derivatives. While it has been linked to announcements due this summer about plant closures there is still enormous potential and plans for Ellesmere Port.”
The Astravan has always been popular with small fleet van operators – will the new Combo replace the Astravan in their hearts?