General Motors’ European division has released information about the locations for the production of its next-generation of compact-sized cars. It has chosen four of its manufacturing plants, including the Ellesmere Port site in the UK, Bochum in Germany, Sweden’s Trollhättan site and Gliwice in Poland, as the locations for the production of a new vehicle that’s due to replace the existing Astra range in early 2010.

Over €3.1 billion will be invested over the coming years, which will allow for a lift in productivity of more than 30%. Missing out on the upgrades is GM’s plant in Antwerp, Belgium. Although a site closure has been ruled out, a full review of the situation is currently being undertaken and we may see the plant run at limited capacity in the near future.

GM Europe's boss Carl-Peter Forster gave a summary of its plans for Europe, revealing that GM has planned for an “annual production of 750,000 units of compact cars in Europe, which is an increase over the 535,000 produced in 2006.” But he warned, “even with an increase, adjusting capacity to meet demand remains a challenge for GM as it is for other automakers worldwide.”