London: Ford will close its engine unit in Wales next year, costing around 1,700 jobs, the U.S. automotive giant announced. Britain’s car industry is already struggling owing to Brexit uncertainty and a worldwide race to fulfil the desire for deploying electric vehicles.
The Vice President of Ford’s Europe division, Stuart Rowley, said in a statement that “changing customer demand and cost disadvantages” had played a significant part to make the Bridgend facility in south Wales “economically unsustainable in the years ahead” and that it would be shut in late 2020.
Ford iterated that the U.S. group stayed “committed to the U.K., where it continues to be the passenger and commercial vehicle sales leader”
The General Secretary of Britain’s biggest union, Unite, Len McCluskey, called the declaration “a grotesque act of economic betrayal”
In recent months, Honda too gave a statement regarding the shutting of its units in central England in 2021, while Nissan backpedaled a decision to manufacture its new X-Trail vehicle at its unit in the northeast.
Ford said it would suffer an around-$650 million (€577 million) loss from the Welsh closure. The U.S. automotive giant has operated the plant for decades in Bridgend and is one of the major employers in the region.