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Greenshields JCB has just ordered 32 new Ford Transits
Greenshields JCB, which specialise in the service and repair of JCB and Thwaites dumper vehicles, has just ordered 32 new Ford Transits. But will any of these be built in Britiain in the future?

Blog: RALPH MORTON

WE all like going to Turkey for our holiday – sunny, good value, good food. Yes, we Brits like it…

But Southampton looks like it might be losing something to Turkey for good: the Ford Transit.

Yesterday, Ford announced some wide-ranging changes to its business in Europe following plummeting sales in Europe – a reflection of the total sales scene in Europe rather than just Ford in particular.

And Ford looks like it’s decided it no longer wants any more Belgian beer and frites. The Genk plant, where the Ford Mondeo is made – along with the Ford S-MAX and Ford Galaxy –  is being closed down and production moved  to Ford’s Valencia Plant in Spain. 2014 is the deadline.

Amongst all this there was no mention of business van news affecting Ford’s Southampton plant where the Ford Transit is made. Except Ford is due to make further announcements about its plans tomorrow (Thursday, 25 October 2012).

The rumour mill is in full swing: Southampton, which has been in operation since 1972, will be closed with the loss of some 500 jobs. Turkey, where the Transit is already made at the Kocaeli plant, will be the beneficiary.

If Ford do go ahead with their business van plans, they will be putting Southampton on a permanent holiday – an enforced one. And losing a big chunk of their British heritage. Let’s hope Ford keeps the backbone in Britain – and Southampton stays open.

Paint inspection at the Southampton Ford plant
A worker in the Ford Southampton paint shop: about to lose his job to Turkey?

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