Both of Vauxhall's UK factories have closed for a week due to difficult economic times in Europe.

Vauxhall workers have been given a "paid down week" to prevent factory stock mounting up as the Euro crisis continues to disrupt car sales on the continent.

The week-long closure affects both Ellesmere Port – which builds the Vauxhall and Opel Astra – and Vauxhall's van-making plant in Luton.

Earlier this month, a Vauxhall spokesman told Autoblog: "As a major exporter, and following the downturn in mainland Europe, Vauxhall manufacturing operations in Ellesmere Port and in Luton are implementing a down week from September 24.

"This is to avoid building up stock by balancing inventory with customer orders. Hours lost will be paid as normal and 'banked' for payback in the future according to volume requirements.

"In addition, new robots will be installed during the down week in September at the Luton Van Plant which is gearing up for the next generation Vivaro, due to start production in 2014."

Speaking to Autoblog today, Vauxhall confirmed the closure – but was sketchy as to whether the "paid down" week will last just for seven days.

We were told: "We've no plans to extend it into next week – at the moment we are assessing the situation."

Vauxhall is the only firm to close its factories in the UK. Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Jaguar Land Rover recently told Autoblog they have no plans to follow Vauxhall's lead.

But there's no doubt the European slump in car sales is having an effect on car manufacturers.

On Friday Automotive News reported the slowdown in Europe is now affecting premium brands like Daimler and Porsche - up until now it was just volume makers such as Fiat, PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault and Ford.

We'll be continuing to monitor Vauxhall's factories over the next week and will report if anything changes.