Ford has announced plans to close its plant in Southampton and downsize operations in Dagenham with risks to 1,400 jobs.
As politicians and pundits welcome the GDP figures, a reminder of how tricky this recovery is going to be emerges from the Ford plants.
Scientists have taken half a million photographs to make the first-ever "road map" of the floor of an abyss, 12 miles long, 4 miles wide.
Ford has betrayed its workforce and its loyal customer base. Unite is going to fight these closures. This announcement has been handled disgracefully.
Only a few months ago Ford was promising staff a new transit model for Southampton in 2014. The planned closures will really hurt the local economies and the supply chain will be badly hit - up to 10,000 jobs could be at risk.
The Transit has been the best-selling van in the UK for over a quarter of a century. It has a future in the UK if this government is prepared to fight for real jobs and persuade Ford to keep manufacturing vehicles in the UK.
– Unite general secretary Len McCluskey
It's now time for Vince Cable (Business Secretary) to put his words into action and intervene for the sake of British manufacturing and skilled jobs. Unite will be meeting with our own UK union representatives and our European colleagues over the coming days to discuss the next steps.
Ford has confirmed the planned closures of its factory in Southampton and a plant in Dagenham, with job losses totalling 1,400.
Ford's plant closure in Southampton has been raised in the House of Commons, during an exchange between the MP for Romsey and Southampton North, Caroline Nokes and the Leader of the Commons, Andrew Lansley.
Mrs Nokes called for a debate on this "serious matter" which affects members of her constituency and surrounding others.
Ford is to close its Southampton plant on July 26th, 2013, some workers have told ITV Meridian.
They said they had been told there will be "no compulsory redundancies" and have been promised "generous voluntary redundancy, and relocation packages".
The Conservative MP for Romsey and Southampton, Caroline Nokes, has said the closure of Ford's Transit van factory would be a "bitter blow" for Southampton.
Mrs Nokes met the Business Minister Michael Fallon today and said she will do all she can to offer support to the workers set to lose their jobs.
Over 500 direct jobs will go and a wider number in the supply chain. It is critically important that we do everything we can to help those affected.
The closure will have a significant impact on employment.
These 500 employees have broadly similar skills and it is very important that they are given the maximum support possible.
Earlier today, Ford workers in Southampton were interviewed by ITV Meridian ahead of the news that their plant could close.
They had already feared the worst for themselves, and future generations in the city.
Southampton City Council leader, Richard Williams, has described the news that Ford will be closing its Southampton Transit plant as “dreadful”.
He told the Daily Echo: “It is yet another kick in teeth for UK and Southampton plc
Ford yesterday unveiled plans to close its factory in Genk, Belgium, with the loss of 4,300 jobs and said more details of its "transformation" plan for Europe will be given today.
Stephen Odell, chairman and chief executive of Ford of Europe, said:
The proposed restructuring of our European manufacturing operations is a fundamental part of our plan to strengthen Ford's business in Europe and to return to profitable growth.
The Transit van plant in Southampton will close next summer, with the loss of more than 500 jobs, while a site in Dagenham, Essex, will shut at the same time.
Union officials said up to 1,500 jobs will be affected by the news, although some new posts will be created at the Dagenham engine plant which will build Ford's new Panther engine.