So, the Ford plant closure in Wales is all down to Brexit is it? Well that's what Remainer politicians and the UK press want you to believe.


A few days ago the Ford Motor Company confirmed the start of a consultation on the potential closure of the Bridgend engine plant in Wales.

And instantly Remainer politicians and campaigners are straight in there, blaming Brexit and some of the press goes along with that narrative littering their articles with reference to 'Brexit uncertainty', while completely ignoring what Ford itself is actually saying.

In a press release, Ford media had the following bullet point:

"Ford will remain a significant employer in the U.K.; engine production maintained at Dagenham; Dunton Technical Centre home to Ford’s European sales-leading commercial vehicle business"

And the release also said:

"Factors behind the proposed closure of Bridgend include significant underutilisation of the plant, driven by the impending end of engine production for Jaguar Land Rover, the cessation of the previous generation Ford GTDi 1.5-litre engine, and reduced global demand for the new generation Ford GTDi and Pfi 1.5-litre engine. At expected volumes, the plant also faces a cost disadvantage compared with other Ford facilities building the same engine. Significant efforts to identify new opportunities have not been successful."

And it also says:

"Ford is committed to the U.K., where it continues to be the passenger and commercial vehicle sales leader. Even after the proposed closure of Bridgend, Ford will remain a major employer with significant operations in the country."

And Stuart Rowley, the president of Ford of Europe said:

"Creating a strong and sustainable Ford business in Europe requires us to make some difficult decisions, including the need to scale our global engine manufacturing footprint to best serve our future vehicle portfolio.

"We are committed to the U.K.; however, changing customer demand and cost disadvantages, plus an absence of additional engine models for Bridgend going forward make the plant economically unsustainable in the years ahead."

So no blaming Brexit there then.

Also, Ford is engaged right now in shutting down a gearbox factory near Bordeaux in France and shedding 5,000 jobs in Germany, with the French threatening to ban Ford from selling cars to its police force in retaliation.

Ford is also shutting down a plant in Sao Paolo in Brazil. Russia may also be affected, where the ageing Mondeo and Focus models are made.

So I suppose the Remainers will also blame all that on Brexit too.

This is all part of the Ford operational fitness programme, which is about portfolio rationalisation and increasing investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. With the planned investment in electrification being increased to $11 billion by 2022. The expanded electrified portfolio is to include 40 electrified vehicles globally, including 16 full battery electric vehicles by 2022.

This was talked about in a Ford press release back in January 2018, so the question we should all be asking is, where were both the EU and the UK, in trying to get that increased investment into factories this side of the Atlantic?

Why are both the EU and UK facing shut downs and not investment, so as to change the use of affected factories?

Now that is a question that both Remainers and Brexiteers can both be justified in asking!


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