Ford chooses Dagenham to make new Transit engines

Workers in Ford Dagenham production line

Ford has announced its Dagenham plant will manufacture its latest line in Transit diesel engines. - Credit: Ford

Ford has chosen Dagenham to manufacture its latest diesel engines in a move which the company expects will safeguard hundreds of jobs.

The car giant announced the decision on Tuesday, March 16 to build in the borough for its next generation Ford Transit Custom range.

ford workers on the production line

There are 1,200 employees involved in engine plant production at Ford Dagenham. - Credit: Ford

There are 1,200 employees involved in engine plant production in Dagenham, but workforce numbers increase to about 2,000 when including Ford’s transport operations and other services.

Martin Everitt, plant manager, said: "This is great news for the entire Ford Dagenham engine plant team and reinforces the strong relationship between diesel engine production at Dagenham and vehicle production at Ford Otosan in Turkey."

Ford Bridgend Engine Plant.
Martin Everitt.
Picture: Roger Donovan, Media Photos
Tel: 02920 361126

Martin Everitt is plant manager at Dagenham. - Credit: Roger Donovan/Ford

Business between Ford and Ford Otosan - which is a joint venture with Turkish company Koç Holding - makes up more than 10 per cent of total trade between the UK and Turkey.

Ford expects that by 2025 up to 60pc of diesel engines built in Dagenham will be destined for the new model to be built in Turkey. 

The company's Dagenham factory already exports much of its diesel engine production to Ford Otosan where the engines are fitted into its Transit vans. About 30 percent of these are then exported back to the UK.

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A trade agreement struck between the Mediterranean country and the UK at the end of last year was an "extremely significant" factor in its decision, according to Ford.

Ranil Jayawardena, UK international trade minister, said: "Today’s announcement is great news for Ford and its 7,500 workers across the United Kingdom.

"Our trade deal with Turkey has helped to secure jobs by protecting supply chains for our great automotive manufacturers like Ford and has provided businesses with the confidence to keep investing in Britain.

"Trade has the power to create jobs, boost wages and bring economic growth to every corner of our country as we build back better from Covid-19."

Ford expects about two-thirds of its commercial vehicle sales in Europe will be all-electric or plug-in hybrid by 2030.

However, the American multinational believes diesel will continue to play a role in commercial vehicles in the years to come.

Ford closed its Bridgend plant last year in an overhaul of its European operations.

The Ford Transit Custom range will be built from 2023.