sunny.png
Wednesday December 11th, 2019 8:59AM

Ford to close 'unsustainable' Wales plant that employs 1,700

By The Associated Press

LONDON (AP) — A Ford engine plant in Wales that employs 1,700 people is "economically unsustainable" and will close next year, the carmaker announced Thursday.

The company blamed declining sales of gasoline engines and the end of a contract with Jaguar Land Rover for the closure, due in September 2020.

Ford's European president, Stuart Rowley, said "changing customer demand and cost disadvantages, plus an absence of additional engine models for Bridgend going forward make the plant economically unsustainable in the years ahead."

He said there would be an "enhanced separation program," including help for employees to get new jobs or start their own businesses.

The Bridgend plant opened in 1980 and is a major employer in Wales.

Jeff Beck, regional organizer for the GMB union, said the news was "a real hammer blow for the Welsh economy and the community in Bridgend."

Former Welsh government leader Carwyn Jones, who represents Bridgend in the Welsh Assembly, said "this has all been very sudden. There was no warning about this at all."

"From my perspective I want to know what's going on as to with the workers and want to know a reason for the decision, and to work with Welsh government to see what we can do to help the workers here," he said.

The news is the latest setback for Britain's auto industry, which is struggling both with uncertainties over Brexit as well as global issues buffeting the sector.

Ford announced last month that it was cutting 7,000 white-collar jobs worldwide, several hundred of them in Britain.

Honda announced in May that it will close its western England car factory in 2021. And in February Nissan announced that it would not build a new SUV in Sunderland, northeast England, as previously planned.

Jaguar Land Rover, owned by India's Tata Motors, is also cutting jobs in Britain.

Many businesses are worried about the uncertainty around Britain's stalled departure from the European Union. Executives have held back on investments as they lack clarity on what commercial relations will be like between Britain and the rest of the EU, its biggest trading partner.

British Trade Minister Graham Stuart insisted Brexit was not to blame for the Ford closure, stressing that the automotive industry is in "massive global flux."

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Business
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
US productivity grew at solid 3.4% rate in first quarter
US productivity grew at solid 3.4% rate in first quarter, best showing in 4 years
8:37AM ( 10 minutes ago )
US trade deficit shrinks to $50.8 billion in April
US trade deficit shrinks 2.1% to $50.8 billion in April, but gap with China grows
8:35AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump meets Macron in France
President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting in Caen on the northern coast of France not far from the Normandy American Cemetery where they marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day
8:27AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
After Fed, Europe also helps economy cope with trade concern
The European Central Bank has taken action to support the economy in the 19 countries that use the euro, responding to fears about global trade conflicts
7:59AM ( 48 minutes ago )
The Latest: European Central Bank gives economy more support
The European Central Bank has taken action to support the economy in the 19 countries that use the euro, responding to fears about global trade conflicts
7:51AM ( 56 minutes ago )
World stocks advance ahead of European Central Bank update
World markets rise on hopes that European Central Bank would shore up support for the economy
7:39AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
US productivity grew at solid 3.4% rate in first quarter
US productivity grew at solid 3.4% rate in first quarter, best showing in 4 years
8:37AM ( 10 minutes ago )
US trade deficit shrinks to $50.8 billion in April
US trade deficit shrinks 2.1% to $50.8 billion in April, but gap with China grows
8:35AM ( 12 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump meets Macron in France
President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron are meeting in Caen on the northern coast of France not far from the Normandy American Cemetery where they marked the 75th anniversary of D-Day
8:27AM ( 20 minutes ago )
After Fed, Europe also helps economy cope with trade war
The European Central Bank has taken action to support the economy in the 19 countries that use the euro, responding to fears about global trade conflicts
8:17AM ( 30 minutes ago )
The Latest: Women's semifinals moved to neighboring courts
The Latest at the French Open: Women's French Open semifinal matches will be held on Courts Suzanne Lenglen and Simonne Mathieu
8:12AM ( 35 minutes ago )