Ford says it has decided to bring forward part of the summer shutdown period for its UK manufacturing operations (engine production at Bridgend and Dagenham) to the Easter period. It's another sign of the deepening short-term impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the industry and the need to adjust production to much lower market demand.

Ford said in a statement that it is 'working closely with all our partners as we navigate through the current coronavirus effects across the globe and our business operations'.

However, due to the 'dramatic impact this ongoing crisis is having on the European market and the supplier industry, we have decided to bring forward part of the summer shutdown period for our UK operations to the Easter period.'

This means production at Dagenham Engine Plant in east London will temporarily cease from Monday, March 23. Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales will temporarily cease production from the end of the day on Wednesday, March 25.

In addition, the shutdown period will also be extended across the rest of the Ford business in the UK, excluding a small number of employees supporting business critical activities.

During this four-week period, all Ford employees will receive payments at least equivalent to their base pay.