American multinational Ford announced that it will shut its Bridgend plant in the UK in September 2020, putting 1,700 jobs at stake, according to media reports.
Sources close to the matter said that workers have been informed of Ford’s decision which comes as a ‘major blow’ to the British car industry. The news was confirmed during a meeting between the company officials and the union leaders.
Last year, the Bridgend plant had contributed to nearly 20 percent of Britain’s 2.7 million automotive engines, media reports said. “These workers and this community have stayed faithful to Ford, as have UK customers—this is still Ford’s largest European market—through thick and thin, but have been treated disgracefully in return by this company,” Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey said.
Now, only Toyota’s Deeside engine plant and Aston Martin Lagonda’s new St Athan plant will remain as the major car makers at Wales. The Bridgend plant has manufactured engines since 1980
“We will resist this closure with all our might, and call upon the governments at the Welsh Assembly and Westminster to join us to save this plant, and to prevent yet another grave injury to UK manufacturing,” he added.
Ford is not the only company to announce its plans to shut Bridgend plant. In February, Japanese multinational Honda also announced its plan to shut its Swindon plant in 2021, with 3,500 jobs at risk.
Ford has three factories in the UK. The company had announced significant loss in jobs across its European operations in January this year.