31 Oct 2012

Ford ends an era of British production

Ford announces the closure of two factories across the United Kingdom as production is billed to move outside of the European Union.

The American car manufacturer announced the closure last week following record losses from the brand's European arm.

Despite Ford's overall profit for the 13th consecutive quarter, losses of $468m (£290m) in Europe caused the motoring giant to shut down production, hence leaving over 1,400 jobs in jeopardy.

Sites include the metal stamping sector in Dagenham, and the traditional home of the Transit in Southampton.

Although the Transit commands a healthy 18 per cent market share in Britain, overall demand across Europe has slumped by over 20 per cent.

Production is set to continue exclusively at Ford's plant in Kocaeli, Turkey, to minimise labour costs.

Although engine development and production will continue in the UK, Len McCluskey, the general secretary of Unite, said: "The planned closures will really hurt the local economies and the supply chain will be badly hit - up to 10,000 jobs could be at risk."

Only time will tell how badly these closures will affect the man behind the white van.

Article by Mike Armstrong