Ford ‘disappointed’ at early end to contract
THE Ford plant in Bridgend will stop making petrol engines for Jaguar Land Rover sooner than expected, it has been announced.
Ford said Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), which is owned by Tata Motors, intends to end the arrangement about three months earlier than agreed.
It means production of the engines will cease in September 2020 instead of at the end of that year.
A spokeswoman said the announcement has no immediate implications for jobs but they will be “assessing the repercussions over that change of time”.
It’s another blow for the plant which employs just under 1,800 people and is one of Wales’ biggest employers.
Earlier this year, the GMB union leaked plans by Ford to cut the workforce by more than 1,000 to about 600 by 2021. It followed a cut in investment in the new Dragon engine, which is due to start production next year.
Ford said that at its peak in 2015, it provided JLR with half a million engines from Bridgend.
The plant also produces the Sigma engine for the Ford Focus, Cougar and Mondeo models.
GMB regional organiser Jeff Beck said: “Unless alternate contracts are found, this will have a devastating and far reaching impact on the communities in and around Bridgend as well as across South Wales as a whole.”
Unite’s Wales Secretary Andy Richards said the union had predicted the work would finish early.
He added: “The grim future for Ford Bridgend has again today been brought into clear focus.
“What is of crucial importance now is that all interested parties work night and day to secure alternative future work for Ford Bridgend.”
A spokeswoman for Ford UK said: “While we do not discuss the details of our contractual arrangements, we have informed our unions that Jaguar Land Rover intends to end our petrol engine supply arrangement slightly earlier than expected in late 2020.
“Given our long-established and successful relationship in the delivery of world-class engines, this is disappointing news for the Ford Bridgend Engine Plant.
“However, as the auto industry is undergoing rapid change, we continue to look at other high technology opportunities for Bridgend in the future.”