Sky Sources: Ford To Close Southampton Plant
Ford is planning to close its Southampton factory as part of its restructuring in Europe, according to Sky sources.
The announcement is expected on Thursday, when Ford's Chief Executive Alan Mulally is due to hold a business briefing call and company management meet union representatives in Essex.
The company said this was speculation.
It emerged on the day high street retailer Argos said it will have to close 75 stores over the next five years - in another damaging sign about the state of the economy.
The firm reported a 37% fall in group pre-tax profit to £18m in the six months to the start of September.
Ford's Swaythling factory, which has built its iconic Transit vans since 1972, employs around 500 people.
But the future of the site has been uncertain since workers began working single shifts in 2009.
It is a relatively small part of the company's UK operation, which employs 11,400 people at factories in Dagenham, Halewood, Bridgend and Southampton.
The news comes after the company confirmed it would close its "under-utilised" factory in Genk, Belgium, resulting in 4,300 job losses.
"Ford announced its plans to end production at a major production plant in Genk, Belgium, by the end of 2014," the company said in a statement, adding that the closure would entail a "reduction of approximately 4,300 positions".
Ford of Europe's Chief Executive Stephen Odell added: "The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford's business in Europe."
In another development for Europe's carmaking industry, the French government offered Peugeot Citroen a 7bn euro (£5.6bn) lifeline following another drop in sales.
The Paris-based company said it was also close to agreeing a 11.5bn euro (£9.3bn) refinancing deal with creditor banks, in addition to the state guarantees, for its lending arm Banque PSA Finance.
Following the announcement, Peugeot shares fell 6.5% - hitting their lowest levels since 1986.
Car sales in Europe have slumped as consumers in the region find their budgets hit by unemployment and government austerity.
Earlier this month, industry figures revealed that the market shrank at its fastest pace for 12 months in September.
what do you think?
Ford is always quick to close British plants with thousands of jobs gone, Thats why now I always buy Vauxhalls, American G.M. still invest in Britain along with the Japanies Companies.
Great shame this. Lets hope It's the end of it.
For once we agree it is a shame!!
Yay! No more white vans on the road!
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Not all people want to be on benefits. Don't tar all people with the same brush
Dont be daft. These people have worked for a living for years and payed taxes, therefore they will be eligible for sod all from the government. Its those that have never worked that get all the best hand outs. And thats why this country is buggered.
Top ford exec's will proberly pocket a nice big bonus for closing down this plant.
restructuring = another way of saying were moving our manufacturing plants to china where we can pay our new workers peanuts to do the same job.
Ford have been producing transits and other vehicles in Turkey for a number of years. At one time European vans were too expensive now cheap poor quality vans are supplied by France - decent high quality vans from Germany - Ford vans fall somewhere in the middle, mediocre vans at a price
Unbelievable yet again no bad news for a German plant. When will the British wake up and look after our own workers. If the van plant closes that means we only have Ford engine plants, parts and development left in Britain, which can easily be moved elsewhere. Why Buy Ford?
Have been saying this for a while.....all this country is now is a.big warehouse storing german...frence.....and other foriengn goods....cant fault them for lookin after there own interests......unlike our powers that be......
they would sell more if they made them cheaper, too expensive for what they are.three year old transits are a pile of rust no wonder people by Japanese or French. by the way the new transit is all ready being built abroad thats why they are closing it down,cheaper labour.
Thinking of the 500 + men and women who find themselves unemployed for Christmas ! Such a sad shame ! Things are looking glum everywhere at the moment . I hope they keep their spirits high xxx
Don't blame them for going abroad if its cheaper our country is crippling the economy with its high taxs