Southampton's Ford Factory IS closing and five hundred workers will lose their jobs when the last transit van rolls off the production line next year.
The official announcement was made to staff at midday. It's a massive blow for Southampton that has fought hard to keep production of Ford Transit vans in the City.
Around two point two million Transits have been made at the Plant since 1972. But production has been scaled down over the past four years. 66 thousand vans were made there in 2008 - compared to 28 thousand last year.
However staff were told they would be offered work at other Ford factories if they were willing to move.
Ford is to close its Transit van factory in Southampton and another UK site with the loss of up to 1,500 jobs, sources said.
The Ford Transit used to be white van man's transport of choice - now the Southampton factory that makes them looks under threat.
Union leaders have been called to a meeting with motor giant Ford amid fears that the firm's UK van factory in Southampton is to close.