Ford’s engine plant in Bridgend, Wales is set to close in Q3 2020, with the likely loss of over 1700 jobs.
After detailed consideration, Ford today 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.
“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,” said Stuart Rowley, president, Ford of Europe.
“We are committed to the UK, 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.
Ford’s Bridgend Engine Plant opened in 1977, and today employs around 1,700 employees, including nearly 400 who signed up to a voluntary separation programme earlier this year and will leave between May and December 2019.