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Ford back in business as car shortage bites

PUBLISHED: 17:37 21 September 2009 | UPDATED: 10:28 11 August 2010

FORD WORKERS have found themselves doing weekend shifts to meet engine production demand triggered by the government s scrappage scheme. During August, staff at the motor giant s plant in Dagenham saw production volumes soar by 36.5 per cent from last yea

FORD WORKERS have found themselves doing weekend shifts to meet engine production demand triggered by the government's scrappage scheme.

During August, staff at the motor giant's plant in Dagenham saw production volumes soar by 36.5 per cent from last year.

Sales on Ford models such as Ka, Fiesta and Focus have gone through the roof since the scheme was introduced in May - 21,500 cars have been ordered and the rate is going up by 250 a day.

The scappage scheme allows drivers to trade in their car at a dealership, if it is more than 10 years old, and they will get £2,000 towards the price of a new motor.

Ford says the program has been a huge success, not just for their sales but for their staff, the environment and driver safety.

Their spokesman said: "The scrappage scheme has meant more work for the skilled employees at our plants.

"Motorists are driving new vehicles which give better fuel efficiency and have reduced carbon emissions.

"And the new cars are much safer than those from 10 or more years ago - so everybody wins."

The government pledged £300million to the scrappage scheme but it looks as though that funding will soon run out.

Ford are planning to lobby ministers for more money to keep the scheme going and will meet with Peter Mandelson, Secretary for Business, Innovation and Skills, this week.

It is hoped the scrappage scheme can be continued as it has been so successful in buoying up the motor industry in very difficult times.

Ford Dagenham introduced three extra weekend assembly shifts in August to boost 1.4 and 1.6 Duratorq diesel engine supply, their factory in Bridgend, Wales, also had to have additional shifts on a Saturday.

The two plants employ a total of 4,000 engine production specialists.

Weekend shifts were introduced in the run up to September, which is licence plate change month.

Dagenham also returned to the full working week this year after a spell of three day weeks were imposed in November last year.

Nigel Sharp, Ford Britain managing director, said: "Ford showrooms are enjoying the sales rush triggered by a new registration plate, limited remaining scrappage subsidies and growing awareness of January's VAT increase.

"I'm delighted that Ford plants are feeling the benefits too.


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