You can close the Ford factory in Bridgend, South Wales next year, writes Reuters. The American manufacturer explains his decision with the fall in demand for his engines, which is another blow to the British automotive industry, which has already been hit by Brexit.
At the factory, there are 1700 people working, which last year produced 20 percent of the 2.7 million engines produced in Britain. Next February, Ford will complete the production of 1.5-liter gasoline engines, and in 2020 the contract with the Jaguar-Land Rover will expire. Ford Europe President Stuart Rowley said on Thursday, changing customer needs and not being able to recharge other engines, would make the operation economically unsustainable.
Ford has two factories in Great Britain, which export parts to Germany, the USA and Turkey. Due to uncertainties about brexite, normal business may be at risk if a free trade agreement with the EU is not achieved, which can slow down the flow of goods.
Ford’s announcement, for obvious reasons, hit the largest British trade union, which has already indicated that it will fight against the decision. The President of the Union said he was asking the British Parliament and the Government and the Welsh Parliament for help to save the plant.
By the way, Ford is rethinking across Europe, and MTI wrote on Wednesday that the company plans to reduce its headcount in Germany in the long run, with the current downsizing program only a first step towards minimum profitability. This is what Gunnar Herrmann, CEO of Ford Deutschland said in Düsseldorf, the constraints in the automotive industry due to the technological reform pressure from internal combustion engines to switching to electricity.
In the future, the sale of diesel and petrol-powered cars will decrease, and the production of electric cars will require much less labor. As a result, the number of employees may drop by as much as a quarter, ”he said.