As global auto sales slow after a decade of growth, carmakers are girding for a deeper downturn by slashing payrolls.
Ford has confirmed plans to close its engine plant at Bridgend in South Wales by September 2020, saying it faced becoming “economically unsustainable” in the world’s drive for electric vehicles.
The company ruled out a Brexit link after it made the formal announcement, saying that consultations on its proposals had begun with its 1,700 staff and their representatives.
Stuart Rowley, president of Ford Europe, told reporters:
“This action has nothing to do with Brexit and the simple way to think of that is, if Brexit had never happened, would there be a different decision, and the answer to that is no.”
He explained: “Creating a strong and sustainable Ford business in Europe requires us to make some difficult decisions, including the need to scale our global engine manufacturing footprint to best serve our future vehicle portfolio.