The end of UK Transit production

  al's left peg 20:49 24 Oct 2012

Following fast on the heels of todays announcement Ford are to close their massive Genk factory in Belgium, speculation is that they will announce tomorrow the closure of the Southampton Transit plant. A massive ad campaign a few years ago stating: "Transit- the backbone of Britain" seems Ironic now as more jobs are lost due to this spineless government.

More hollow promises about helping the workers and we will do all we can, whilst still fiddling expenses, fiddling rent on taxpayer bought properties. How long before we become a third world country, because in my eyes we are certainly heading that way.

  N47. 23:01 24 Oct 2012

It is a great shame as the Transit was a great vehicle, why they had to change it to so many variants. Because industry is facing closures right , left and centre. It's no wonder that the need for new vans is on the decline, also when you think massive subsidy's go to foreign van manufacturers.

Jobs at Kimberley Clarke, in the UK, under major threat as the factories in Flint and humberside are to close.

Rather strange when they may be a global shortage

  Forum Editor 23:28 24 Oct 2012

"Ford are to close their massive Genk factory in Belgium"

Using your kind of logic that means more jobs lost because of the spineless Belgian government does it? Actually the reason is that Ford is going to lose a little south of $1 billion in Europe this year because the European market for new cars has shrunk considerably. The expected closure of the Southampton factory is due to the European market situation, not to the actions of a spineless government. The company has seen its European car sales plummet by more than 60,000 vehicles, and in Asia there's a similar situation - sales down by 20,000 vehicles - no doubt due to the spineless Asian governments.

I suggest you get real, and start to understand that companies like Ford (and General Motors, who are also in trouble with sales) make decisions for commercial reasons - in this case because EU recession has meant less new car sales. Ford isn't going to continue to manufacture vehicles it can't sell, regardless of what a country's government might do or not do.

  Forum Editor 23:34 24 Oct 2012


Kimberley Clarke has taken the decision to close factories because it has failed to make a profit on its European nappy sales. The company is quite understandably going to stop pouring money into a bottomless pit, and concentrate on the market sectors where it is strong.

I don't know whether the Japan explosion will affect that decision, but I would hazard a guess that it won't.

  morddwyd 08:02 25 Oct 2012

By allowing so much foreign takeover of our industry (yes, I know it works both ways, with massive British investment abroad) we place ourselves at risk of these foreign companies retrenching into their original areas of operation in difficult times. These are, after all, the areas that originally gave them enough profit to expand abroad in the first place!

Their investment has been of enormous benefit to this country in most cases (forget Starbucks and the like), but they owe us no duty of care, and have no moral obligation to subsidise us by operating a loss.

  Quickbeam 08:16 25 Oct 2012

Does the demise of the blagger's trannie also mean the end of bank blagging?

  interzone55 09:23 25 Oct 2012


Ford has had a presence in the UK since it opened its first factory in Trafford Park in 1911

  Forum Editor 11:05 25 Oct 2012

"(forget Starbucks and the like)"

Well, not entirely perhaps. The company employs 8500 people in the UK, and there is certainly a benefit to our economy in that respect.

We have our own economic problems, but let's not forget that nowadays we are heavily influenced by changes in global economic situations. Foreign companies have financial challenges as well, and they will react to them, regardless of where on the planet the causes are, and there's nothing our government can do about it, other than creating artificial 'sticking plaster' tax structures. In the current economic climate that's out of the question, and there's not much extra the government can do to help the displaced workers in a financial sense either.

  canarieslover 16:09 25 Oct 2012

When we were opening up new markets in the past it wasn't long before those new markets began insisting on 'local content' to provide some employment in that area. This often started with KD (knock down) kits that were assembled locally. It then progressed through the stage of some parts being manufactured locally until finally the whole vehicle was produced locally. This was as much on insistance, and also subsidies, from local governments, and you can't really blame them for looking after their own. Perhaps it will go full circle and we will be the the ones insisting on local content eventually.

  al's left peg 19:39 25 Oct 2012

In the 70's /80's Vickers pressings of Newcastle upon Tyne manufactured parts for the Transit. Earlier this year Vickers (now BAE Systems) announced that it was closing it's Scotswood Road plant due to a lack of orders in the book.

The reason being is our government awarded a contract to build amoured vehicles to an American company, instead of keeping their own public in jobs. I will as you say FE try to "get real" but it does not matter what slant you put on it, successive governments of this country have absolutely killed manufacturing in this country. I don't believe in giving subsidies to companies to keep them afloat as I think it's a false economy, but good lord how do you expect the company to get out of recession when skilled workers like those guys at Ford and Vickers on the whole will be left to fight for jobs filling shelves at their local supermarket. , The country and the apathy of the people who run it amaze me, but what saddens me is when people make comments like "get real" when they cannot see for themselves what a poor state the country is in.

  morddwyd 20:05 25 Oct 2012

It now appears (BBC Evening News) that this will see the end of Ford in the UK, though there is still development of a diesel engine.

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