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6th June 2019

Ford plant in Bridgend set to close with 1,700 jobs set to be loss

BY: Nathan Spackman

Ford has confirmed the news that it will close its plant in Bridgend, with 1,700 jobs set to be lost.

In statement it said it has started a consultation on the proposed end of engine production and closure of the Bridgend factory by late 2020.

Ford blamed the “significant underutilisation” of the plant driven by the end of engine production for Jaguar Land Rover. It also said the site faced a “cost disadvantage” compared to its other facilities building the same products.

The company has proposed ending production of the new generation Ford 1.5-litre engine in February 2020 followed by Jaguar Land Rover in September 2020.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “This news is incredibly sad for the loyal workforce at the factory, for the community of Bridgend and for those in the supply chain.

“The Welsh Government has supported the plant over many years and this decision in no way reflects on the highly skilled individuals who have given the company great service over four decades.

“The Welsh Government will do everything in its power to support those impacted by this announcement and to work with all partners to explore options for the future of the plant.”

In the letter given to workers at Bridgend's Ford plant, the firm said it had made losses in 2018... "despite returning a modest profit in Q1 2019... profitability was down year on year. Returning to profitability is critical and the company must ensure the efficiency of all its operations...

The company "has to take decisive action" and a "reset strategy has been developed to lay the foundations to achieve sustainable profitability. This strategy requires difficult actions to be taken across the European business".

President of Ford Europe Stuart Rowley said: "The Bridgend plant is under-utilised and a third of the workforce is related to the Jaguar-Land Rover engine production that is coming to an end.

"From an historic high of 600-700,000 units in Bridgend, that has been declining.

"The residual demand for the new three cylinder engine would be below the capacity of 125,000."

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