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Early end to Jaguar Land Rover contract at Ford Bridgend

The Ford engine plant in Bridgend Credit: PA

Car giant Ford has expressed disappointment after Jaguar Land Rover confirmed it is ending an engine contract three months earlier than planned.

Around 50% of the plant is dedicated to JLR production and when asked about potential job losses, a Ford spokesperson said:

We have announced the approval of a $100m investment for a new engine family and we continue to investigate, with our union partners, potential future business opportunities, including replacement business for the JLR production.

– Ford spokesperson

The deal to supply engines from Ford's plant at Bridgend in South Wales will now end in September 2020 rather than at the end of that year.

Around 145,000 engines are built in Bridgend for JLR out of an annual total of around 650,000.

Ford said in a statement:

While we do not discuss the details of our contractual arrangements, we have informed our unions that Jaguar Land Rover intends to end our petrol engine supply arrangement slightly earlier than expected in late 2020.

Given our long-established and successful relationship in the delivery of world-class engines, this is disappointing news for the Ford Bridgend Engine Plant.

However, as the auto industry is undergoing rapid change, we continue to look at other high technology opportunities for Bridgend in the future.

– Ford statement

Doubts were raised in September last year over the future of the engine plant when Ford almost halved a planned investment from £181m to £100m. As a result, the company revealed plans to let 1,160 jobs go over the next four years.

Responding to today’s confirmation by Ford that Bridgend will cease to produce engines for Jaguar Land Rover earlier than expected Unite Wales Secretary Andy Richards said:

The grim future for Ford Bridgend has again today been brought into clear focus. What is of crucial importance now is that all interested parties work night and day to secure alternative future work for Ford Bridgend.

We have been in initial discussions with Ford regarding future work streams but today’s announcement must ensure that this dialogue is strengthened, intensified and broadened out to involve a supportive Welsh Government.

– Unite Wales Secretary Andy Richards