Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) will stop sourcing petrol engines from Ford’s Bridgend plant in Wales earlier than expected. The move means that JLR engine supply from Bridgend will now end in September 2020 – three months earlier than planned – and raises uncertainty over an estimated 1,100 jobs.
“We have informed our unions that Jaguar Land Rover intends to end our petrol engine supply arrangement slightly earlier than expected in late 2020,” Ford said in a statement.
As well as Ford engines, the plant currently makes V6 and V8 engines for JLR.
After 2020, when the JLR contract ends, the number of engines being made on the site will be just a quarter of present production levels. Tata-owned JLR has invested in a new engine plant at Wolverhampton, which will likely make a replacement inline 6-cylinder engine derived from its Ingenium engine programme. On the upside, that will add to jobs there.
The GMB union reacted quickly to the Bridgend news, which it described as ‘devastating’. It demanded an urgent meeting with the Wales Government Cabinet Secretary, Ken Skates, to discuss how best safeguard jobs in the motor industry.
Jeff Beck, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “The news we most feared been announced in Bridgend today. Unless alternate contracts are found, this will have a devastating and far reaching impact on the communities in and around Bridgend as well as across South Wales as a whole.
“We will be working alongside our colleagues in Unite and the Welsh Government to find alternative work for the plant.”