Ford to cut Bridgend investment

Ford is nearly halving its investment in its factory in Bridgend. The car manufacturer had set aside £181m for the production of new generation petrol engines, but says it will now only invest £100m.

Further, the new line will produce 125,000 engines instead of the 250,000 initially proposed. The company says this is due to a change in anticipated market demand.

However, Ford insists this will not result in job losses and says it still had a substantial commitment to the plant, which has been open since 1980 and secured investments totalling about £2.8bn.

It currently produces 250,000 engines for Jaguar Land Rover each year, but that line will be discontinued in 2018.

Production of the new engine is due to start the same year, but the scaled down operations means 550 workers will be required rather than the 750 initially anticipated. Ford says the other 200 workers would be used elsewhere in the plant.

Speaking to the BBC, a Ford spokesman said, ‘Due to the success of our other advanced-technology engines – including the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol engine – and anticipated changes in demand in Europe and other markets, we now expect the global volume of the new engines not to be as high as originally planned.’

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, said, ‘At this stage it is reassuring that no job losses are planned but clarity and longer-term assurances must be provided to the workforce that this announcement will not affect Ford’s commitment to the area.’