A perfect storm is developing around Ford Bridgend Engine Plant, a union official has claimed.
Jeff Beck, GMB Organiser for Wales, was responding to an interview at the Geneva Motor Show now underway and where Ford’s European boss Steve Armstrong said it needed clarity over Brexit terms before it could make any further investment in South Wales petrol engine plant or it’s sister diesel plant in Dagenham.
Ford is currently installing a new Dragon engine line in Bridgend but inside 18 months is expected to lose the Jaguar Land Rover V6 and V8 lines which would leave a huge gap in capacity. The Dagenham diesel plant is also like to face issues as demand for that type of engine is falling across Europe and that could place it in a worse position than Bridgend.
Jeff Beck said, “This perfect storm will impact upon, not only thousands of jobs in the car industry itself, but on the many thousands of people employed in the supply chain.
“What’s paramount now is that the Government moves quickly to set out a position that can reassure Ford and other companies that it is in their best interests to continue to invest in Bridgend.”
Mike Payne, GMB Political Officer for Wales, added,“The Government needs to move quickly to reassure workers in Bridgend but also across the UK.
“The recent protectionist stance taken by President Trump, combined with Teresa May’s announcement that we will be leaving the Customs Union after Brexit is a complete disaster for the UK’s car industry.
“If the Government thinks that the panacea to all of our Brexit worries is to rely on the US, they need to think again. President Trump has shown no signs of caring about UK jobs and he’s made it clear that he won’t sign trade deals that don’t overwhelmingly benefit the USA at the detriment of others.
“Maybe it’s a wake-up call for Teresa May, she needs to stop wasting her time trying to appease the unappeasable on her back benches, get us out of this hard Brexit nightmare and commit to a customs union that will protect jobs and the British economy.”