This week Ford welcomed Vince Cable MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, to its high-tech engine plant in Bridgend, Wales as part of a regional fact-finding tour.
Ford Bridgend is the global production home of the latest low-CO2, 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine. The introduction of this new engine has seen the plant expand its workforce to over 2,000. Around 10,000 jobs in the South Wales area are supported by the presence of the Ford plant at Bridgend.
Ford Bridgend is also one of four Ford locations set to benefit from Ford’s plan to invest a total of £1.5 billion into the research, development and manufacture of low-CO2 technology for both cars and commercial vehicles over the next five years. This investment was supported by the UK Government’s £360 million backing of a £450 million loan to Ford from the European Investment Bank.
Vince Cable was joined by Mrs Cheryl Gillan MP and Secretary of State for Wales. Vince Cable said: “We are fortunate to have such a globally renowned manufacturer here in South Wales. A third of all Ford engines sold internationally are manufactured at Ford’s plants in Bridgend and Dagenham.”
He continued: “Ford is investing millions in the UK, safeguarding and creating jobs. They demonstrate why manufacturing will play a key role in encouraging more sustainable growth not stimulated by property bubbles or over-reliant on the financial services.”
Ford of Britain chairman, Joe Greenwell, said: “The UK Government has greatly assisted in delivering Ford’s commitment to invest £1.5 billion in new, affordable, volume-produced low CO2 technologies and we are delighted that Mr Cable was able to visit Ford Bridgend.”
Ford Bridgend is now producing 8,000 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engines per month, exporting around the world to Spain, Sweden, Germany, and soon to the United States, with the production rate rising every quarter. The new Ford Focus, on-sale now, is the latest Ford model to be fitted with this engine.