Ford confirms September 2020 closure of Bridgend factory

Ford's Bridgend engine-building plant looks set to close in 2020, putting 1,700 jobs at risk

Ford Bridgend engine factory

Ford has confirmed the closure of its Bridgend engine-building facility in South Wales, with 1,700 staff losing their jobs as a result. 

Rumours circulated last night that the American car giant was set to close Bridgend, with a statement today confirming the "proposed end of engine production and closure of Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales by late 2020."

A company spokesperson confirmed to Auto Express that while the plans remained "proposals" until the full consultation process had been gone through, it could be assumed the plant would close on 25 September 2020.

Some 400 Bridgend staff had already taken voluntary redundancy from the site, and its closure will result in the remaining 1,300 workers losing their jobs. 

Ford's European president, Stuart Rowley, said the company remains "committed to the UK", but said "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.”

• Ford could lose £613m as a result of hard Brexit

The news follows stories earlier in the year that Ford was shedding 550 of its white-collar UK staff and, while some of those roles were at Bridgend, the company has either announced or enacted around 2,000 redundancies so far in the UK this year.

Bridgend has struggled with underutilisation in recent months. The plant used to build Ford's now defunct GTDi 1.5-litre diesel engine, while the 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine currently built at the plant is experiencing "reduced global demand".

Workers at Bridgend also build engines for Jaguar Land Rover under contract, however the "impending end" of JLR engine production saw Ford previously temporarily close the production line responsible for building Jaguar's AJ-V8 engine.

Rowley added that the firm knows "that closing Bridgend would be difficult for many of our employees”. Ford has a "comprehensive plan with an enhanced separation programme" for at-risk Bridgend workers, which will see the firm either attempt to place staff in other roles within the company, either in the UK or abroad, or put support in place to help them find work outside of Ford. 

Ford European restructuring plan

The Unite union previously urged Ford to convert Bridgend into an electric car battery and motor production facility. The site opened in 1980 and covers an area of 60 acres.

What do you think of the news about Bridgend? Let us know in the comments... 

Recommended

Ford appeals to EU for 100 per cent electric car sales by 2035
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford

Ford appeals to EU for 100 per cent electric car sales by 2035

Ford proposes a 2035 ban on petrol and diesel car sales 
16 May 2022
What is Ford SYNC 3?
Ford Focus ST - screen
Ford

What is Ford SYNC 3?

The latest Ford cars are fitted with SYNC 3, but what does that mean?
10 May 2022
What is Ford SYNC 4?
Ford SYNC 4
Ford

What is Ford SYNC 4?

Some of the newest Ford models are fitted with SYNC 4 infotainment, but what does that mean?
9 May 2022
New Ford electric crossover to spearhead brand’s EV offensive
Ford electric crossover - exclusive image
Ford

New Ford electric crossover to spearhead brand’s EV offensive

The new electric Ford crossover will rival the Volkswagen ID.4, and will be joined in the brand's all-electric 'Model-e' line-up by coupe-SUV and a Pu…
29 Mar 2022

Most Popular

Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
28 Apr 2022
“Mid-sized electric cars are way beyond the financial reach of most mums and dads”
Opinion - electric car prices
Opinion

“Mid-sized electric cars are way beyond the financial reach of most mums and dads”

Mike Rutherford thinks the industry needs to face the fact that a lot of people can’t afford a brand new factory-fresh car
16 May 2022
Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car
Tipo 184 kit car front
Features

Tipo 184: on the road in the Mazda MX-5 based kit car

Inspired by classic Grand Prix racing cars, Darren Collins has created a model that faithfully recreates the originals, but with a twist - it’s actual…
11 May 2022