Ford to cut up to 400 jobs at Bridgend factory

Ford announces voluntary redundancy scheme at its engine plant in South Wales with 400 job losses

Ford Edge - Ford badge

Ford is planning to cut up to 400 jobs at its Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales, it has been announced.

The American brand has revealed plans for a voluntary redundancy scheme as part of a massive restructuring of its European operations.

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

It has been reported that the scheme will affect between 350 and 400 jobs, a rough figure which Ford says is unofficial but fairly accurate.

The scheme is open to both hourly and salaried employees, with those who apply and are selected expected to leave their jobs in the second half of 2019.

In a statement, Ford said the “voluntary separation programme” is part of its “ongoing actions to create a sustainably profitable business in Europe”.

Ford has held union discussions on the scheme, which it says is targeted at “matching the plant’s labour requirements to the projected production volume expectations in the near term”.

It follows the news that Ford has formed an alliance with Volkswagen to build new medium-sized pickup trucks and commercial vehicles for the global market, as well as collaborating on electric vehicles, autonomous cars and mobility solutions further down the line.

Ford could cut more than 1,100 job cuts at its Bridgend plant

Ford could cut more than 1,100 jobs at its Bridgend engine plant in south Wales by 2021, a move the factory’s labour union Unite blames partly on Brexit.  

According to reports, Ford is looking to reduce the number of staff from around 1,850 to around 600 in the next five years. The plant currently builds the popular Ford EcoBoost engine, as well as V8 and V6 engines for Ford's former subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover. Last year, the factory churned out 670,000 engines.

With JLR due to move engine manufacturing to its new plant in Wolverhampton after 2020, Ford will also look to scale back on production. And though the company announced it would invest an initial £100 million to build a family of “all-new, technologically-advanced petrol engines at Bridgend from late 2018,” it said overall workload will be “reduced.”

Len McCluskey, head of the labour union Unite – the same union participating in the General Motors and PSA-Peugeot Citroen takeover negotiations to ensure Vauxhall’s Ellesmere Port and Luton factories in the UK remain open and fully staffed – said the union would use “all its might” to prevent job losses and blamed the uncertainty associated with Brexit as a partial cause.

“Brexit is clearly a factor here. So I appeal again to the Westminster government and Theresa May to make it categorically clear without delay that there will be tariff-free access to the single market and customs union, because the uncertainty the UK’s automotive sector is enduring is having damaging real-life consequences now, before talks have even begun. The prime minister must act now because the very future of UK manufacturing, including car-making, is at stake. 

• Diesel ban: the state of play and what next for diesel cars in the UK?

“Ford must give this plant a chance and work with Unite to secure a better future. We will be seeking legally binding guarantees to secure future production at the plant as well as exploring how Bridgend’s production capacity can be fully utilised through the introduction of new lines.”

In a statement, Ford said: “It goes without saying, that in order to attract new business, the Bridgend operation would need to ensure its competitiveness, and addressing some of the current concerns relating to the plant’s efficiency would be high on the agenda.”

What will the UK vehicle manufacturing sector look like post-Brexit? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below...

Recommended

Dashcam-upload portal reports spike in ‘dangerous driving’ videos
Dash cam
News

Dashcam-upload portal reports spike in ‘dangerous driving’ videos

Big increase in citizen policing on British roads pays dividends for hard-pressed police forces
25 Nov 2021
VED road tax: how much does it cost?
car tax calculator
Consumer news

VED road tax: how much does it cost?

Confused by VED road tax? Our comprehensive guide explains how much you'll pay on your next car
22 Nov 2021
Prime Minister to confirm plans for electric car chargers in every new home built in UK
Home charging point
News

Prime Minister to confirm plans for electric car chargers in every new home built in UK

England will be the first country in the world to introduce mandatory electric car charging points for new-build homes
22 Nov 2021
All in-car mobile phone use to be banned, unless it’s ‘hands-free’
Van mobile phone
News

All in-car mobile phone use to be banned, unless it’s ‘hands-free’

A new law in 2022 will ban drivers from taking pictures, scrolling through playlists and playing games with a handheld smartphone
19 Nov 2021

Most Popular

New Genesis G90 revealed as striking luxury flagship
Genesis G90 - front
Genesis

New Genesis G90 revealed as striking luxury flagship

First exterior images of the new Genesis G90 luxury saloon have been revealed ahead of it going on sale next year
29 Nov 2021
New BMW Concept XM previews sporty XM production car due in 2022
BMW Concept XM - front studio
BMW

New BMW Concept XM previews sporty XM production car due in 2022

The new BMW Concept XM hints at a sporty V8 plug-in hybrid production SUV
30 Nov 2021
Next-gen Volkswagens to get smarter and more comfortable
Volkswagen tech
Volkswagen

Next-gen Volkswagens to get smarter and more comfortable

Volkswagen is working on a host of new technology, including fly-by-wire steering, a driver-facing interior camera and an intelligent chassis
30 Nov 2021