Ford has announced a £130m expenditure to it's Solihull, UK plant. The money will go towards a new car parts pressing plant as well as upgrading the assembly line for the new 'super' Range Rover.

The company also said it would commit a further £400m to £500m a year on product development for Range Rover.

Ford's plan is to have the company into profit by 2002. Exports to the USA and to Japan will lead the profit revival. As well as a new 'super' Range Rover, a new Freelander - with appeal to the American market - is being developed alongside a new Defender.

Chief executive, Bob Dover, said on his appointment earlier this year that Britain was not a good place in which to build cars. He was referring to the weakness of the euro.

This announcement by Ford leads to the conclusion that it will be cheaper to bring the Solihull plant up to a higher standard rather than build a new plant - or use an existing Ford plant - in Europe. It seems likely that Ford did not trouble the UK government for a subsidy.