Hugo Griffiths 2019-06-06 13:05
Ford's Bridgend engine-building plant looks set to close in 2020, putting 1,700 jobs at risk
Ford has confirmed it is consulting with trade unions on the "potential closure" of its Bridgend engine-building facility in South Wales, putting the jobs of the plant's 1,700 workers in jeopardy.
Rumours circulated last night that the American car giant was set to close Bridgend, with a statement today confirming the "proposed end of engine production and closure of Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales by late 2020."
Ford's European president, Stuart Rowley, said the company remains "committed to the UK", but said "changing customer demand and cost disadvantages, plus an absence of additional engine models for Bridgend going forward, make the plant economically unsustainable in the years ahead.”
The news follows stories last month that 400 jobs were to go at Bridgend, with Ford as a whole cutting 10 per cent of its global workforce by the end of this summer as it seeks to make savings worth £470 million.
Bridgend has struggled with underutilisation in recent months. The plant used to build Ford's now defunct GTDi 1.5-litre diesel engine, while the 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine currently built at the plant is experiencing "reduced global demand".
Workers at Bridgend also build engines for Jaguar Land Rover under contract, however the "impending end" of JLR engine production saw Ford previously temporarily close the production line responsible for building Jaguar's AJ-V8 engine.
Rowley added that the firm knows "that closing Bridgend would be difficult for many of our employees”. Ford has a "comprehensive plan with an enhanced separation programme" for at-risk Bridgend workers, which will see the firm either attempt to place staff in other roles within the company, either in the UK or abroad, or put support in place to help them find work outside of Ford.
The Unite union previously urged Ford to convert Bridgend into an electric car battery and motor production facility. The site opened in 1980 and covers an area of 60 acres.
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