TO mark the end of commercial vehicle production at Ford’s Southampton Plant on 26 July, the Southampton factory and Dagenham stamping and tooling operations are donating six Transits to local charities and communities.
Charities to benefit in the Southampton area are Naomi House and Jacksplace, which are hospices for children and young people, Cedar School, which caters for pupils with a range of disabilities and special educational needs, and Southampton City Council Community.
The first ever Transit van manufactured at Southampton Plant was donated to the city Mayor. In keeping with this tradition, the third Transit is being donated to Southampton City Council to be used for charities and community organisations in Southampton.
The recipients of the three Transits in the Dagenham area are to be confirmed soon.
All of the 531 employees affected by the Southampton Plant closure have chosen redeployment within Ford, voluntary separation or early retirement. New and expanded Ford operations created in Southampton are providing positions for 134 of these employees.
The company is to invest £12 million in a vehicle distribution centre at Southampton docks and a vehicle refurbishment centre on the plant site.
The distribution centre will form part of Ford’s logistics operations, involved in handling vehicle imports and distribution, and the shipping of engines to China. The refurbishment centre will process low-mileage used vehicles for supply to the Ford Direct sales programme.