Ford Transit production at Southampton is set to be “unaffected” by fresh investment in one of the vehicle’s other manufacturing plants in Turkey, Ford has insisted.
The blue oval announced this morning that it is investing $630m (£400m) in its plant at Kocaeli, currently the site of long-wheelbase Transit and Transit Connect production. It says the investment is designed “to support future manufacturing initiatives for the Ford Transit”.
The future of the Southampton plant has been the subject of intense speculation for the past couple of years, as Ford has sought to lower the costs base of its iconic van range.
However, while declining to comment on what the future manufacturing initiatives could be, a Ford spokesman said, “Southampton’s future hasn’t changed. It’ll still be making chassis cabs in 2011, as planned.”
Almost half of the Southampton factory’s 500-strong workforce was axed last year, but Ford said as recently as this summer that the plant would “directly benefit” from its £1.5bn investment in more environmentally friendly technology.