Vauxhall's Ellesmere Port factory in the north west of England has been dealt another blow after it was revealed that the plant would shift to a four-day working week, a move that could lead to further job cuts.

While the cutback to four days from five won't result in fewer hours for the workforce, with the remaining days being extended to compensate, the company refused to rule out future layoffs in a statement.

"We will now study the result of this decision and discuss with workforce representatives and trade unions whether there are any impacts," it said.

The move has been made due to a decrease in demand for the Astra Tourer model built there, according to a letter from the factory's director Mark Noble, which was seen by the Liverpool Echo.

"This decision will not influence negatively whether Ellesmere Port is allocated the new Astra,Noble said in the letter. "This decision will keep the competitiveness of Ellesmere Port and hence maintain its sustainability."

Vauxhall - Ellesmere Port

Meanwhile staff at the plant are fearing for their futures, with the factory unconfirmed to be continuing with Astra production when the new model arrives next year.

"The general feeling is we are being run down to a certain death," a worker anonymously told Automotive News Europe.

While Ellesmere Port will continue to manufacture the current Astra Tourer until 2022, beyond that the plant's future is uncertain. The next generation of the car's hatchback variant will be built in Ruesselsheim, Germany and the estate variant will be built alongside it. The factory in Gliwice, Poland, that produces the current hatchback model will switch to van production from next year.