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Paint booth at Ford's Southampton Transit plant
Paint booth at Ford's Southampton transit plant: work at the British plant is drying up as Ford transfers all Transit production to Turkey

Story: RALPH MORTON

 

FOR those of us celebrating the end of double-dip recession Britain with the return to 1% growth  today, comes the mortal blow to those Ford workers at Southampton that make the Transit van.

Ford is shutting the Ford Transit factory at Southampton.

The business van news will be devastating to those 500 workers at the Ford factory in Southampton, and comes after the news that Ford is closing its Genk factory in Belgium.

As well as the closure of Ford’s Southampton Transit facility, Ford has extended the edge of its cutting axe to include Dagenham, where  stamping and tooling operations are carried out.

“Using the same One Ford plan that led to strong profitability in North America, we will address the crisis in Europe with a laser focus on new products, a stronger brand and increased cost efficiency,” commented Alan Mulally, Ford president and CEO.

“We recognise the impact our actions will have on many employees and their families in Europe, and we will work together with all stakeholders during this necessary transformation of our business.”

Ford has been making Ford Transit vans at Southampton since 1972.

Despite the cutting of factory jobs in the UK, Ford said that its commercial vehicle operations were expanding – rather like the UK’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

Ford said its great business van news included new Ford Transit, new Ford Transit Custom, new Ford Transit Connect and new Ford Transit Courier – plus a family of new Ford Tourneo people carriers.

Ford Transit Connect unveil at Hannover Show
New Ford product - like the unveil of the new Ford Transit Connect at the recent Hannover Show - will be made in Turkey under new Ford plans

With the closure of Ford’s Southampton plant, all Transit manufacture will transfer to Ford Otosan in Kocaeli, Turkey, in 2013 – as we thought likely in our blog Is Tranny for the chop in the UK?.

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