29/10/2008

Ford Announce £70m Bridgend Investment

A multi-million pound investment has been announced at a South Wales car manufacturing facility.

Car-maker Ford announced the £70 million venture for its engine plant in Bridgend, to produce a new generation of low CO2 petrol engines.

The news is a major boost to the recession-hit motor industry, with First Minister Rhodri Morgan describing it as a "shaft of light in the gloom of the economy".

The Ford plant is the country's third largest manufacturing, behind Airbus and Corus at Port Talbot.

It currently employs more than 2,000 staff, and the investment is the latest in a series totalling £315m from the Welsh Assembly Government, over the last five years.

The new engines will go into production within two years.

They will be among the first of a new generation of petrol engines expected to provide up to 20% better fuel economy as well as 15% lower CO2.

John Fleming, Chief Executive of Ford Europe said: "The Bridgend team will play an important role in delivering these new engines which add an innovative ingredient to petrol engine technology and deliver a combination of low emissions and efficient performance that will be vital to meet future customer needs around the world."

First Minister Mr Morgan said that while nothing was certain in today's current economic climate, he hoped to see the number of jobs continue to rise above 2,100.

He said: "Almost for certain this means a long-term future for Ford in Bridgend and it means it will become a million engine a year plant.

"This is incredibly good news. It is a huge feather in the cap for the workforce."

(JM)

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