Ford Plant Closure
Making big headlines this past week has been the new that Ford has taken the decision to close two of their plants, one in the UK and one in Belgium.
Now obviously this is not a decision the Ford has taken lightly, and whist it may come as no conciliation to the several thousand workers facing job loss, there is always a bigger picture in mind when drastic measures such as this are taken.
Ford is not the only manufacturer feeling the pinch due to the current European recession we find ourselves in. Many other manufacturers including the likes of GM, Peugeot and Fiat have all closed or are considering closing factories in various different countries across Europe.
These are very hard time for car makers and we are certainly not over the worst of it yet. We Europeans have been buying less and less new cars year on year. This year we are expected to buy 20% fewer cars than in 2007 and with some experts suggesting this recession will last as long as 10 years and some even going as far to say it will never return to the level is once was.
So with that in mind, why has Ford chosen these plants to close? Well Ford is facing a loss of over $1bn in Europe this year. To break even with a new car plant, manufacturers are expected to run at around 75-85% capacity, unfortunately for Ford it is believed that they are running as low as 50% in Europe and even lower at the Southampton plant in particular.
This closure has a greater purpose to it, safeguarding the future of the company. It’s not all as bad as it sounds though, a large proportion of the workers from these plants will be given the opportunity to stay within the company with extra jobs being made making new diesel engines in Dagenham and technical jobs in developing them in Dunton.
Ford are still as committed to the UK as ever before and it is estimated 1 in 3 new Fords sold worldwide is powered by a British built engine.
This year saw the 40 millionth engine roll off the production line at the Dagenham plant since it first started production 81 years ago and some 50% of Ford diesel engines globally are produced there.
All this is protecting the future in Europe for Ford so they can continue to bring us ground breaking vehicles like the new Ford B-MAX and the new Transit Custom.
The Transit Custom has followed on where previous models of the popular Ford van have left off by wining 2013 international van of the year, the fourth time a Transit has won the award. This year the Transit reached a total of 117 of a possible 133 points, the highest share of winning votes in the award’s history.
The Transit Custom is now available to order and drive at Lifestyle Ford showrooms with prices starting at just £17,495 for the base model.
For a closer look at the Ford range why not call in to one of our showrooms in Tunbridge Wells, Tonbridge, Crawley, Horsham and Redhill or visit www.lifestyleford.co.uk