Ford confirms closure of United Kingdom engine factory as part of restructuring


The Bridgend, South Wales plant, which employs about 1,700 workers, builds engines for several Ford models in Europe, including the Fiesta and B-Max.

He added: "The UK is Ford's biggest European market, it holds first and second place in UK auto sales, yet disgracefully doesn't produce a single vehicle here". "The company has deliberately run down its United Kingdom operations so that now not a single Ford vehicle - auto or van - is made in the United Kingdom". "The Welsh and UK Governments must urgently do all they can to support employees, help them find new work and protect Bridgend's economy".

"Ford has treated its United Kingdom workers abysmally, and they could do so because the fact remains that it is cheaper, easier and quicker to sack our workers than those in our competitor countries".

'But Ford can forget about it if it thinks we will make it easy for Ford to walk away from this workforce.

Unions pledged to resist the closure "with all their might". Japan entered a free-trade agreement with the European Union earlier this year, meaning vehicles produced in Honda's home market can be exported to Europe tariff-free.

Trade unions are considering calling for a consumer boycott of Ford cars, accusing the manufacturer of betrayal and broken promises.

Minister for economy and transport Ken Skates added: "The Ford engine plant has been a part of the fabric of Bridgend for nearly four decades and my heart goes out to all those employed at the site and in the supply chain".

The Dagenham plant opened in 1931 and was for some time one of the biggest employers in the area.

In recent months, Honda announced plans to shut its plant in central England in 2021, while fellow Japanese carmaker Nissan reversed a decision to build its new X-Trail vehicle at its facility in the northeast.

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Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India's Tata Motors, is also shedding jobs in Britain as the industry a whole faces up to huge challenges, including the switch to electric vehicles.

Ford will continue to operate factories in the United Kingdom - diesel engines will continue to be built in Dagenham, while production of transmissions will continue at its factory on Merseyside.

The news was being confirmed today at a meeting between company officials and union leaders.

Councillor Huw David, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council, said the town was devastated by the decision. "We will ensure the voice of business is heard and represented, to both Welsh and UK Governments, about what action is needed to ensure Wales' continued ability to compete in a global economy".

"The simple way to think of that is, if Brexit had never happened, would there be a different decision?"

He described the Bridgend workforce as "outstanding", adding they had done everything they could to deliver efficiencies.

More than 2,000 people work at the site, according to Ford's website, which is one of two Ford engine plants in Britain.

Ben Cottam, head of external affairs at FSB Wales, said: "This is clearly a devastating blow for Bridgend and the wider region but most especially for those working within the Ford plant and those firms within the supply chain which are dependent on the plant".