LONDON (Reuters) - Carmaker Ford is expected to announce on Thursday that it is closing its engine facility in Bridgend, Wales, a source told Reuters, in what would be another blow to Britain’s car industry.
More than 2,000 people work at the site, according to Ford’s website, which is one of two Ford engine plants in Britain.
Officials from the Unite union are expected to be told of the decision at a meeting with the U.S. carmaker on Thursday, a source familiar with the situation said on condition of anonymity.
A spokeswoman for Ford declined to comment on what she said was speculation, after the expected closure was also reported by ITV news and other media.
Ford makes around 1.3 million engines at two British locations, Bridgend and Dagenham in eastern England. It has previously warned it could face $1 billion in tariff costs in case of a so-called hard Brexit.
In January, Ford said that as part of a worldwide turnaround effort it would cut thousands of jobs, look at plant closures and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines, and would start consultations with unions on the plans. The Unite union said at the time it expected nearly 1,000 job losses at Bridgend.
Ford has already announced 5,000 job cuts in Germany, its second-biggest European market, but it has yet to make major decisions in Britain, which is its biggest.
Britain’s largely foreign-owned car industry has become increasingly concerned as a stable and attractive investment environment descends into political crisis due to uncertainty about the terms of Britain’s planned departure from the European Union.
Ford’s British-built engines, which are shipped for fitting in vehicles in Germany, Turkey, the United States and elsewhere, could face delays and extra costs if Britain leaves the EU without securing a deal with the European Union.
Reporting by Costas Pitas and William James; editing by Stephen Addison and Susan Fenton
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.