Jaguar Ends Ford Engine Deal, Putting 750 U.K. Jobs at RiskBy
Ford plant’s future put into ‘grim focus’ by Jaguar’s move
British luxury-car maker plans to make its own engines
Jaguar Land Rover pulled the plug on a 2008 agreement with Ford Motor Co. to supply gasoline engines from a facility in Wales, compounding the struggles the U.K. plant already faces due to uncertainty caused by Brexit.
About half the staff at Ford’s Bridgend factory, or roughly 750 people, depend on the deal to make V6 and V8 engines for Jaguar Land Rover, according to a Ford spokesman. Deliveries will halt in late 2020. The unit of Tata Motors Ltd. plans to replace Ford supplies with engines from its own plant in Wolverhampton, England, as part of a 450 million-pound ($605 million) investment.
“The grim future for Ford Bridgend has again today been brought into clear focus,” British union Unite said in an email. “We have been in initial discussions with Ford regarding future work streams, but today’s announcement must ensure that this dialog is strengthened, intensified and broadened out.”
Ford had started labor talks at Bridgend in March with the aim of boosting efficiency to help extend the Jaguar Land Rover contract, which stems from the time when the U.S. carmaker still owned the luxury-car brands. With the U.K.’s exit from the European Union looming and the British government moving to end the sale of combustion engines by 2040, the prospects of finding a replacement deal look dour.
The cloudy outlook for workers at the plant highlights the disruptive shift the car industry faces as it switches to electric cars. Workers at Daimler AG’s biggest engine plant in Stuttgart slowed production in June over a dispute about a planned battery facility at the site. But retooling for electric-vehicle components requires fresh investment.
“As the auto industry is undergoing rapid change, we continue to look at other high-technology opportunities for Bridgend in the future,” Ford said in a statement.