“Building a strong and sustainable Ford business in Europe requires us to make some tough decisions, including the need to scale our global engine manufacturing footprint to better serve our future vehicle portfolio,” Rowley said.
“However, changes in customer demand and cost disadvantages, together with the absence of additional engine models for Bridgend in the future, make the plant economically unsustainable in the coming years.
When asked about suggestions that Ineos Automotive, an arm of one of the worlds largest chemical companies, might want to use Bridgends facilities to produce its 4×4, Rowley said: “I cant comment on any particular company. What I would say is that we have seriously considered any opportunity to rescue the plant, and none of those opportunities have been viable.
Bridgend is not the only place where Fords European restructuring has had an impact. The company recently completed production of the C-Maxin Saarlouis, Germany; reduced shifts at a plant in Valencia, Spain; closed a transmission factory in Bordeaux, France; and closed three sites in Russia.
Ford will maintain its presence in the UK by continuing to produce diesel engines in Dagenhamands transmissions in Merseyside, while the companys commercial vehicle business is based at its technical centre in Dunton, Essex.
Bridgend closing reaction
The head of the Society of Automobile Manufacturers and Dealers, Mike Hawes, said the closure was “another blow to car manufacturing in the UK and especially to staff and their families in and around Bridgend. He added: “Fords challenges are not unique: economic uncertainty at home and abroad, technological change and global trade problems are stressing markets and forcing companies to review their operations and make tough decisions.
“However, the success of this fiercely competitive global industry starts at home and we hope that in the coming weeks every effort will be made to restore confidence, strengthen demand and ensure the long-term competitiveness of this crucial sector.
Wales Secretary Alun Cairns told the BBC that it was “an extremely worrying and uncertain time for Ford workers, their families in Bridgend and the surrounding communities. He said the government “will work closely with Ford, the unions and the Welsh government to ensure that this highly valued workforce can access new skilled jobs.
Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, said the news was a “hard blow” for the Welsh economy, adding: “The implications of this in terms of the supply chain in terms of job losses are very, very serious.