Oct.25 - Ford is to close its Transit van factory in Southampton and a stamping plant in Dagenham, Essex, next year in a move that could lead to the loss of around 2,000 jobs, union officials say. Ciara Sutton reports.
Auto giant Ford is to stop making the iconic Transit van in Britain. This means the closure of its factory in Southampton and another in Essex. Up to 2,000 jobs could go as production is moved to Turkey. And, for the first time in a century, Ford won't make vehicles in the UK. Workers say they're not surprised. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORD WORKER, RICHARD TARRANT, SAYING: "I think we all knew. Since 2009 when they made 500 of us redundant, the writing was on the wall. They promised us this that and the other and I think they genuinely believed it. They said market forces caused the problem and that they're over producing. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FORD WORKER, SAYING: "Very sad day for us. We've been expecting this, but we weren't sure which form it was going to take. Everyone's very very upset about it." The U.S. car maker is on a mission to drag its European operations back into profit. On Wednesday it announced the closure a plant in Belgium, with the loss of 4,300 jobs. Demand for cars is falling in Europe, forcing auto makers to rein in production. In France, Peugeot-Citroen workers gathered outside the company's headquarters to protest against a plant closure where 8000 will lose their jobs. There are rising worries about the company's performance on financial markets, with some brokers slashing forecasts for the company's share price. Germany's Daimler has also voiced its concerns. It will miss its earnings forecast this year by about a billion euros.