UK loses Transit

1,400 UK jobs to be lost as Ford closes Southampton and Dagenham

Published:  25 October, 2012

FORD has announced the end of Transit production in Southampton in a bitter, if not unexpected blow to UK manufacturing.

The firm also announced that stamping and tooling operations will cease at Dagenham in Essex. Additionally, the firm will shut an assembly plant at Genk in Belgium.

From next year manufacture of Transit will be consolidated in Ford's principal commercial vehicle manufacturing facility operated by Ford Otosan in Kocaeli, Turkey. This will include spin-offs such as the Transit Connect and the new Transit Custom.

Speaking of the UK closures, Stephen Odell CEO of Ford Europe said: "The challenges facing the European car industry have become more structural than cyclical in nature and require decisive action. The actions we are proposing come after extensive review and consideration, and we fully recognize and accept Ford's social responsibilities in this necessary transformation of our business,"

The motor industry reacted to the news with a mixture of disappointment and realism. SMMT boss Paul Everitt said, "This is difficult and disappointing news for all the people and families affected by today's announcement, but it is part of wider restructuring to ensure a stronger and more competitive European automotive industry. The immediate priority is to help those impacted secure alternative employment."

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