On Tuesday it announced that it will manufacture the diesel engines for its new line of Transit Custom vans in Dagenham, London in preparation for the vehicle’s launch in 2023. The move is projected to guarantee up to 1,900 local jobs, it said.
International Trade Minister Ranil Jayawardena described the announcement as “great news for Ford and its 7,500 workers across the United Kingdom”.
Plant manager Martin Everitt called it “great news”.
He added “(It) reinforces the strong relationship between diesel engine production at Dagenham and Transit vehicle production at Ford Otosan in Turkey”.
It also rubbishes Remoaners’ claims that Brexit would destroy the UK’s car making industry by creating unaffordable tariffs on exports.
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“I’m talking about fresh agricultural produce, services, the digital economy, public procurement, and maybe also increasing the incentives for mutual investment in each other’s markets,” he told the news agency.
And pointing out that the UK had become too dependent on China, he said: “The UK wants to find other suppliers.
“It happens in our locality, there is a relatively low-cost supplier with a wide manufacturing base, which manufactures to European standards.
“And that’s called Turkey.”
The new generation of diesel engines for Ford’s Transit Custom van will be built at the factory before being exported to Turkey.
Upon arrival the vans will be assembled by Ford’s local joint venture company, Ford Otosan, it said.
Ford Otosan, a joint venture between the American giant and Turkish company Koç Holding, will manufacture the new van at its plant in Kocaeli, in northwestern Turkey.
The vans will also be available as an electric van, as well as in various hybrid forms.
Although moves to electrify passenger cars are proceeding rapidly, Ford says it expects diesel to continue to play an important role in commercial vehicles for many years.
Demand from Ford Otosan, which will also build a similar-sized van on behalf of Volkswagen, is expected to account for up to 60 per cent of Dagenham’s diesel engine production by 2025.
Last year, Ford closed its other major UK engine plant at Bridgend in Wales.
The factory, which opened in 1977, was unable to obtain enough new work after two major engine programmes ended in 2019.