Goodbye Griffin? PSA sells Griffin House and Vauxhall Heritage site for development…
Vauxhall Motors announced to its staff in early July that it was entering into a 45-day consultation period with trade unions after the decision was made to vacate its current headquarters, Griffin House and the Vauxhall Heritage Centre in Luton. Early indications are that there will be no redundancies and that jobs will be moved to new sites within the Luton Van factory, Chalton House on Toddington Road, with around 100 further roles going to, new owner, PSA’s site in Coventry.
PC understands that the decision was made to move out of the Heritage Centre and the iconic headquarters earlier this year and the announcement made to staff in late June. Currently the future of the Heritage Collection of vehicles and artefacts, along with the team that look after them, has not been revealed, however commitments have been made by PSA, and in particular Xavier Crispin general director of PSA’s heritage arm, L‘Aventure Peugeot, to keep the collection together and house it in the Luton area.
A commitment that staff head count will not be reduced was also given.
Speaking to PC on a recent visit to the heritage Centre, Simon Hucknall, Head of Product PR and Heritage said: ‘Anyone who has been to France to see PSA’s three major collections will know that they take heritage seriously. I am in no doubt that the Vauxhall collection is safe and will be kept together.’
When pressed on the prospect of redundancies and reducing the role of Vauxhall Heritage as an active collection, Mr Hucknall was still positive. ‘The collections in France are active and reach out into the community. Vauxhall Heritage has always been dynamic in the way that it supports and promotes the parent brand.
Almost all of our cars are roadworthy and work for a living, they are available for use promoting the company at home and abroad. So, being active is a core part of our remit. There are no plans for redundancies.’ PC understands an announcement on the new location for the Heritage collection and its staff is expected later in the year.
‘I trust PSA to make this work. Their track record on Heritage is good and the Luton centre is the perfect example of heritage working hand in hand with a modern brand. Keeping that collection dynamic and active has never been the result of whimsical sentiment, it has always made business sense and I am certain PSA will see the value it delivers and keep the collection, and its staff, active well into the future.’
Before Griffin House was revamped and re-clad in 1991 it was Vauxhall’s UK Design and Engineering Centre, which originally opened in 1964.