Ford is set to build a new factory close to its existing Dagenham plant, writes the UK's Evening Standard's online edition (9/10/00).

The UK media report says the news - as yet unconfirmed - will produce engines for export, bringing hundreds of new jobs to the area. Those facing redundancy at Dagenham are set to be offered new positions within this new plant.

According to the newspaper, the announcement of the second plant - to be built at Rainham, on the site of the old Ford Thames Foundry - was planned for the 2 November.

The article says the announcement will probably be brought forward, with details being given to union leaders this week who are due to meet Ford chiefs Thursday (12/10/00) to seek assurances of the future of Ford's smaller plants around London, including Croydon and Enfield.

The US auto-giant hopes the news of the new plant will persuade union officials to call off their strike campaign aimed at reversing Ford's plans to cease Dagenham car production by early 2002. A strike ballot has already been announced by the Unions with action set to begin early next month, says the report.

Citing a Ford spokesman, the article says that plans for the new factory could neither be confirmed nor denied.