Ford sheds 1,400 UK jobs

Ford Dagenham plant
25 Oct, 2012 3:15pm Tom Phillips

Ford to part-close Dagenham and shut Transit plant in Southampton, with the loss of 1,400 UK jobs

Ford has confirmed that it will close its factory in Southampton in mid-2013. The move ends more than 100 years of vehicle production in the UK and will cost 500 people their jobs, plus lots more in the related supply chain.

Transit production will move to the Ford Otosan facility in Kocaeli, Turkey, in 2013.

Further to this, Ford will also close its stamping and tooling operations in Dagenham - which currently employs 750 people - as well as logistics and support staff, taking total job losses to 1,400 in the UK.

Ford cites the weakness in the European market - which accounts for slightly more than a quarter of Ford’s total vehicle volume - as the reason for its decision to cut plants and its dealer’s stock of cars to record low levels.

Speaking during a media conference, Ford chairman and CEO Alan Mulally said: “We’re moving decisively to match production with demand… we recognise the impact our actions will have on Ford employees and their families and will work together with all stakeholders during this necessary transformation of our business...”

Ford did confirm that it will invest in its Dagenham diesel engine production facility, and retain the current workforce of 2,000 people on the engine line. A new family of clean 2.0-litre diesel engines will be developed at Ford’s Dunton R&D centre, which employs 3,500 people, and go into production at Dagenham in 2016.

Ford of Europe CEO, Stephen Odell, added that Ford will spend “£1.5 billion in UK focusing on designing and engineering engines, while the redundancies in the UK are voluntary, and we’ll endeavor to move people that want to stay round the organization.”

Ford also confirmed that it will push ahead with its plans to close the Mondeo factory in Genk, Belgium, giving a total of 6,200 redundancies in Europe - or 13 per cent of its European workforce.

This also means that the new Mondeo won’t go on sale in Europe until the end of 2014, with the S-MAX and Galaxy replacements not coming until 2015 at the earliest.

Odell added: "Following the consultation process with Genk, the launch of the Mondeo would obviously be pushed back to the end of 2014, with S-MAX and Galaxy, in a refreshed form, following after that."

"Given current demand and even recent awards for that car we feel there are plenty of good signs that we can keep demand (for the current car) up."

He also alluded to the fact that the 1.0-litre EcoBoost, scheduled to arrive in the new Mondeo, could be fitted to the existing car to increase its appeal: "We have new powertrain opportunities, especially from a low CO2 standpoint..."

Talking about the decision to close the Genk plant, Odell said: “The consultations with unions will take four-to-six months to complete. We’ve gone through a lot of thought and as difficult as it was, we absolutely believe it was the right thing to do as Genk was out lowest utilized plant.”

To improve its flagging European fortunes, Ford will introduce 15 new models by 2015, including the new EcoSport and Edge SUVs, and Mustang sports car. Despite predicting a $1.5billion loss in 2012, the firm claims it will return Ford of Europe back to 6-8 per cent profitability by mid-decade.

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Ford have not produced a single car in the UK since 1999, now the Transit van plant finally get the boot.

Time to give Ford the boot.

Time to Boycott Ford in the UK. Can't believe how easy it is to keep sacking British workers. Yet Britain is the most loyal customer base for Ford. Get lost Ford. I will NEVER buy another car from you again

The trouble is that as a business do you pay a British employee nearly £7 an hour or an eastern european worker £7 a week? Prices have already gone up to the limit that people will accept and as a business they need to make money otherwise they go bust and a lot more workers end up out of work!


Ford's can afford to keep German workers the most expensive paid car worker in the world in employment producing German made Fiesta, Focus Kuga with the largest wage bill in the world.

It's about time British industry got behind Britain and brought British made Vauxhall Astravan & British made Vauxhall Vivaro van & dump Turkish made Transits & Turkish made Transit Connects from their fleets on mass.

Let get behind Great Britain give our Children & Grand Children a future buy a Vauxhall Van, don't export our jobs to Turkey. Do you really desperately that hard up that you need a Turkish Transit

Vauxhall even sponsor England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland football teams.

UK Vauxhall vans 2 Turkish Ford vans 0

The Koceali, Asian Turkey Transit plant pays just over £4 and hour to line workers.

I agree, time to get rid of Ford in the UK. That's the loyalty they show us after 28 yrs of market leadership. I will NEVER buy a new Ford again and I urge everyone else to do the same. British built cars should be supported 100%. All the manufacturers will do if you stop buying foreign built cars is to build em here. Stop sending your money to Europe & China. Back Britain!

I'm about to start looking for a new company car and was considering the new Mondeo.....not any more!

It is productivity, cost effectiveness and functionality that matter, not the wage bill. If you pay German workers 10% more but the plant is 15% more productive, then that represents good value for the company. Ford produces cars in Germany because it makes good business sense, regardless of the wage bill.

Are you going to buy German instead?

In other words, buy a proper British car like a Honda, Toyota or Nissan.

Surely Eastern European workers get more than £7 a week? Also I would have thought our workers, skilled ones at least, get more than £7 an hour?

I think labour laws is the main reason. It is far easier to get rid of staff in the UK and Belgium than it is in Germany. Of course, this is also why Nissan, Toyota and Honda chose to invest in plants in the UK rather than Germany or France. I guess you have to take the rough with the smooth.

ford don't do final assembly anymore, they do make the engines and transmissions here and do design work - something the UK is very strong in. Vauxhall employ around 2,000 staff at Ellesmere Port, Ford employ about the same number at Bridgend building engines.

When you buy a Ford you buy a car with a British made engine and transmission assembled in Europe, with Vauxhall you buy a car with a European made engine and transmission assembled in Britain - I don't really see that one is better than the next, only different.

It is a shame to hear of any form of manufacturing leaving Britain, but we cannot realistically manage to hold on to the 'simple' work when wages of workers in other countries are lower,,
so better to stop childish comments,, this is business

Unfortunetly what all of don't appear to realise is that the factory in Southampton is a Grade2 listed building. As such it prevents Ford from making any changes to the site - the last time they did when they built a new paint shop they were landed with a massive fine.
So instead of complain about the company pulling out of the UK, maybe you should be directing your anger and the people who decided to put the preservation of buildings before the preservation of jobs!

this is a sad blow for these dad used to drive a ford cortina,he be turning in his grave if he heard wht had happened. how can the powers that be behind ford live with themselves,they have torn communities apart with this action.theses will now be on the dole or trying to look for work elswhere which is just impossible in this climate

yet again people appear to blaming Ford for not keeping jobs. How can they keep jobs in a factory where they are not allowed to make the necessary changes to enable it to produce new vehicles?? Some people are very short sighted.

Southampton is a listed building. As such it prevents Ford from making any changes to the site - the last time they did when they built a new paint shop they were landed with a massive fine.
So instead of complain about the company pulling out of the UK, maybe you should be directing your anger and the people who decided to put the preservation of buildings before the preservation of jobs!

Mr "be realistic" where's the childish comments? I don't see any. Just common sense. Bridgend will also be gone within three years as JLR starts its own Engine manufacturing. The point most of us are trying to make is Ford has been market leader in the UK since 1974 and our loyalty is repaid by ceasing all Trim & Final activities in this country. It's got NOTHING AT ALL to do with Labour cost as BOTH German plants remain, which pay the highest rates in Europe. Higher than Britain. It doesn't matter where the componants come from, it's assembled here by British workers paying PAYE and N.I into BRITAIN's economy NOT claiming DOLE. Think! Boycott Ford - Buy British

Stop buying the Transit and mebbe they will listen

Ford will still employ more workers in this country than any other car manufacturer so please think before you propose boycotting them.

There were 2.5 million engines built in the UK in 2011 - and 1.7 million of them were built by Ford - data from SMMT.

"Ford cites the weakness in the European market - which accounts for slightly more than a quarter of Ford’s total vehicle volume - as the reason for its decision to cut plants"

So it has nothing to do with the fact that labour in Turkey is no doubt cheaper?

This will never end and it will only get worse. Companies will continue to be lured by small labour costs in low cost economies. They will only stop when we all downgrade our living conditions to the Chinese level. That will be the perfect world for capitalist enterprises.

Things might have been easier had the Transit been much good. The example I had experience of was woeful. It was gutless, had a very narrow power band and the inflexibility was such it was even possible to stall the engine when changing from first to second! Everyone who drove it experienced this foible from time to time. Driven at motorway speeds, the fuel consumption was epic. A replacement Renault Master, whilst not wonderful, was vastly better.
I was reminded of this during a recent visit to France when the driver of a Transit minibus belonging to the Gendarmerie National decided that, although I had the cruise control set at the legal maximum 110 k.p.h., it was not fast enough for him. So he pulled into the outside lane and drew alongside me just at the point the road steepened. Suddenly he found not only could he not go any faster than me but also could not keep up, disappearing into my rear view mirrors!

It is so sad the workforce are paying the price for a product which, in more ways than one, does not keep up

But Ford will still expect to be able to sell into the EU despite Turkey being nowhere near joining or contributing to its budget. They will soon find that costs there are just as high. Perhaps the bosses are just looking for a warmer place to go to!!

Great idea - then thousands more UK jobs can go as well. What a clever chap you are!

That's it - don't buy Ford products anymore, and put thousands more UK employees out of work. What a complete fool you are. Didn't work for BL inthe Seventies did you?

Don't really understand why ford should get any assistance to do this from Europe. As far as I know turkey is not even in the European Union! Why could they not give same money to ford to keep it in uk? Why give ford the money at all, they already made the decision it will happen no matter what. Why don't we stand up to these companies and say you getting NOTHING. If Turkey is such a good option for them let Turkish people pay for it themselves with NO EUROPEAN help

If Ford don't want the British worker, then the British worker should stop buying Ford.
Sadly, we are a divided Country with no pride in ourselves.

No but i work for a car manufacturer that Ford used to own and hate Ford for what they have done. Get back in your Audi