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Ford Confirms Start Of Consultation On Potential Closure Of Bridgend Engine Plant

Auto News - Published on Tue, 11 Jun 2019

Image Source: Ford Media Center
After detailed consideration, Ford confirmed the start of a consultation with its unions concerning the potential closure of the Ford Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales. The proposed action is a necessary step to support Ford’s global business redesign and is part of the company’s strategy to create a more efficient and focused business in Europe.

Mr Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe said that “Creating a strong and sustainable Ford business in Europe requires us to make some difficult decisions, including the need to scale our global engine manufacturing footprint to best serve our future vehicle portfolio. We are committed to the U.K.; however, 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.”

Factors behind the proposed closure of Bridgend include significant underutilisation of the plant, driven by the impending end of engine production for Jaguar Land Rover, the cessation of the previous generation Ford GTDi 1.5-litre engine, and reduced global demand for the new generation Ford GTDi and Pfi 1.5-litre engine. At expected volumes, the plant also faces a cost disadvantage compared with other Ford facilities building the same engine. Significant efforts to identify new opportunities have not been successful.

It is proposed that production of the new generation Ford 1.5-litre engine will end at the Bridgend facility in February 2020, with manufacture of the engines supplied to Jaguar Land Rover ceasing in September 2020, when it is proposed that Bridgend will close.

As part of its proposals, Ford also has provided details of a comprehensive plan with an enhanced separation programme for Bridgend employees. This includes helping employees with redeployment opportunities to other Ford sites in the UK and assisting with domestic relocation where possible, or supporting them to find new employers or pursue new opportunities, such as creating their own businesses or training for new careers.

Mr Rowley said that “As a major employer in the U.K. for more than a century, we know that closing Bridgend would be difficult for many of our employees. We recognise the effects it would have on their families and the communities where they live and, as a responsible employer, we are proposing a plan that would help to ease the impact.”

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 11 Jun 2019
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