Ford reviews future of van plant in the UK

American motor giant Ford is reviewing the future of its Transit van factory in the UK.

Future investment at American motor giant Ford's UK van factory remained in doubt as talks between management and unions continued this week. 

Ford wants to review production of the Transit van made at the plant in Southampton, in particular the assembly of the next generation of the vehicle. 

The national officer for the Unite union, Dave Osborne, said: "We expect Ford to honour its 2001 sourcing and investment agreement which makes clear commitments to vehicle manufacture in the UK.

"Our members have made major contributions to the performance of Ford in Europe. Ford workers in the UK have continued to deliver major improvements in efficiencies and cost reductions.

"Europe has been Ford's saving grace and the UK is Ford's biggest European market."

Ford confirmed that talks about future production of the Transit were continuing.

Last month Ford cut 124 short-term contracts at the plant, which employs about 1,200 staff. But it suggested that there "were no plans to cut the levels of permanent workers".

Ford Transit production moved to Southampton in 1971 and the five millionth vehicle was made in 2005.

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