Re: EU:Ford, PSA boost production of diesel engines
Ford to increase workforce at Dagenham in drive for diesel
Ford is to invest £169m in its manufacturing facility at Dagenham to boost diesel engine output in a move that could create up to 460 new jobs.
The investment is being backed by a £4.5m grant from the Department of Trade and Industry and means Dagenham will be capable of producing about a million diesel engines a year by 2007.
The London Development Agency and the Learning & Skills Council will contribute another £13m towards training costs.
"Dagenham won this investment in the face of stiff competition from other Ford engine plants round the world," said the chairman of Ford in Britain, Roger Putnam.
Ford and its partner in hi-tech diesel engine production, the French carmaker PSA, are expanding their diesel range to take advantage of growing demand.
According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, diesel has taken a growing share of the UK car market every month for the past four years.
In Europe one in three cars is now powered by a diesel engine but Ford believes that by 2006 the percentage will have risen to 50% - or 8 million cars.
"The days of sticking a truck engine in a car body has long gone. Diesel engines are quiet and economic, not noisy and smelly. They are an advantage to a great many road users," a Ford spokesman said.
Though Ford no longer makes cars at Dagenham, the plant currently produces around 600,000 diesel engines as well as body stampings and employs about 5,000 people. Ford also produces petrol engines at its plant in Bridgend.
The trade and industry secretary, Patricia Hewitt, said yesterday: "This great news demonstrates the government's commitment to high-value automotive manufacturing."
Amicus's national officer, Tony Murphy, said: "The unions and the company have been working jointly for years to secure this grant to build diesel engines.
"This investment project will create quality manufacturing jobs and guarantees the future of Dagenham for years to come," he said.
My first car was a 67 Mustang Coupe, 2nd one was a 67 Cougar XR-7, 3rd one was a 66 Mustang Coupe. Why did I get rid of these cars for ? I know why, because I'm stupid, stupid, stupid.
My next Ford.....