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Ford rejects claims of job cuts threat to Dagenham plant staff

PUBLISHED: 19:00 03 September 2018

Boris Johnson visited the Ford Dagenham engine plant when he was the Mayor of London. Pic: Isabel Infantes

Boris Johnson visited the Ford Dagenham engine plant when he was the Mayor of London. Pic: Isabel Infantes

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The Ford motor company has rejected claims that jobs are at risk in a bid to revive business.

A spokeswoman declared there would be no changes at the manufacturer following a report by the Sunday Times which claimed thousands of jobs were at risk, including at the firm’s Dagenham plant.

“We currently have our strongest-ever vehicle range in Europe. While we regularly evaluate our future product plans based on customer preferences and trends, there are no changes at this time,” she said.

The claims included reports that Ford planned to axe its Mondeo, Galaxy and S-Max people carrier models.

But Ford – which employs about 1,830 people at the Dagenham site – moved to quash the rumours saying the Mondeo remained one of its core products in Europe with an upgrade planned later this year.

However, the firm admitted demand for the Mondeo was slowing with buyers moving towards its sport utility vehicles (SUV) and crossover utility vehicles (CUV).

“Mondeo continues to deliver on its promise of great driving dynamics,” the spokeswoman said.

Analysts at US investment bank Morgan Stanley believe Ford will cut 12 per cent of its global workforce as part of its drive to increase its profits.

Morgan Stanley stated in a note to investors that it didn’t think Ford had long-term value in selling passenger vehicles in Europe.

Ford announced in July that its European arm needed a “major redesign”.

Its spokeswoman said the American firm – headquarterd in Michigan – was focused on “aggressively attacking” costs across its operations in Europe.

The union Unite – which represents members at the Dagenham plant – came out in defence of workers.

A spokesman said: “Unite is pressing Ford to invest and future proof its engine plants in the UK at the same time as developing a strategy to defend our members’ jobs by whatever means it takes.

“The UK workforce is world class and well positioned to deliver the next generation of engines and propulsion systems for electric vehicles.”

Cars haven’t been built at the Dagenham plant since 2002. Instead its workers manufacture diesel engines. Its transport operations are also based at the site.

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