Ford boss due to speak in Dagenham today amid reports Southampton plant to close

Ford union members in Dagenham are due to meet the car giant’s European chief this morning following reports there are plans to shut the Southampton plant.

Stephen Odell is expected to announce the Hampshire closure, which could see 500 people lose their jobs.

The news came after the US car giant unveiled plans to shut a 4,300-staff plant in Gent, Belgium, in a bid to return the business to profitability.

But Dagenham Unite rep Mark Stephens told the Post yesterday that the plans could lead to the Chequers Lane factory landing a new engine contract, which in turn could create new jobs.

Ford declined to comment on today’s meeting or the new panther engine contract.

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