Ford announced on Thursday that it would be closing both its Southampton plant and its Dagenham stamping operations, resulting in the loss of 1400 jobs.
Ford is in the middle of a massive European restructuring procedure and 6200 jobs will be lost all over the UK and the Continent combined. The American firm have already closed its Mondeo plant in Genk, Belgium.
Losses from European operations could easily reach a massive sum of £929 million this year according to Ford and the company blames a 20 per cent drop in vehicle demand within Western Europe for the move to cut jobs.
Medium commercial sales dipped by 19 per cent between 2007 and 2011, whilst light commercial vehicle sales fell by a whopping 34 per cent over the same four year period.
The commercial vehicle sales have been the main catalyst behind the announcement, thanks mainly to production of the new Transit models being moved to Turkey and as a result had the Southampton plant working at around 50 per cent capacity.
The Transit plant had most of their panels produced at Dagenham’s stamping operations and so both sites will close next year thanks to the thinning number of fleet commercial vehicles coming through production.
Stephen Odell, CEO Ford of Europe said: “We have to act quickly and decisively to address the collapse in consumer demand in Europe today and position Ford for profitable growth tomorrow. We are reaffirming our commitment to the UK with a major investment in powertrain and engineering and one which will reinforce the UK’s central role in Ford’s global powertrain strategy”
Ford will announce its third quarter figures on October 30 and its thought that the firm will not see any profitability from European operations until the middle of the decade, as it waits for emerging markets and improved volume.