General Motors announced today that it was axing 900 jobs at its Vauxhall factory on Merseyside and dropped a heavy hint that its last remaining car plant in the UK could close altogether without a significant injection of funding.
The US auto giant is to close the night shift at the Ellesmere Port factory at the end of the summer shutdown in August, cutting production of the Astra model to meet an expected decline in demand.
The move is the latest body blow to the UK motor industry after a spate of closures over the past year including that of the MG Rover factory at Londbridge, with 6,000 jobs lost, and the Peugeot plant at Ryton, near Coventry, which is to shut next summer with the loss of 2,300 jobs.
The argument continues to run over whether more relaxed labour laws in the UK encourage overseas investment or simply make it easier for manufacturers to sack UK workers. There is no doubt however, that whatever your views that UK manufacturing is going through a very difficult time.