UK: Ford announces new engine investment for Dagenham

By Dave Leggett | 20 October 2014

Ford has invested significant sums in engine manufacturing in the UK - at both Dagenham and Bridgend

Ford has invested significant sums in engine manufacturing in the UK - at both Dagenham and Bridgend

Ford is to invest an additional GBP190m at its Dagenham London site to produce a new advanced technology 2.0-litre diesel engine for cars and commercial vehicles.

The investment includes GBP8.9m from the UK Government's Regional Growth Fund (RGF).

Ford says it is creating 318 new jobs connected with this investment.

The latest announcement confirms the second phase of investment in the new engine programme following the original investment of GBP287m for phase one with support from the UK Government's Regional Growth Fund. This brings the total invested in the project to in excess of GBP475m.

The first phase of investment relates to the production of state-of-the-art low carbon 2.0 litre diesel engines for Ford commercial vehicles (CVs) globally. The second phase is for low carbon, 2.0 litre diesel engines for passenger cars.

This all-new range of low carbon 2.0-litre diesel engines for cars and CVs has been designed and developed at Ford Dagenham and at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre in Essex.

The first 'phase one' engines will come off the line towards the end of next year. Production capacity will be up to 350,000 units per year - one engine produced every 30 seconds - and will be installed in Ford commercial vehicles from 2016.

The new, low carbon, 2.0 litre advanced diesel engine will deliver dramatically lower NOx emissions, satisfying the air quality requirements of the London Mayor's proposed Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The second phase of engine production is scheduled to start in 2017, with the first installation in Ford cars planned for 2018. The added capacity of up to 150,000 units for this phase brings the total annual capacity for the all-new engine range to up to half a million units.

Prime Minister, David Cameron said: "I welcome Ford's commitment to Dagenham and the UK, which is a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to back business, create more jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain. We are backing our automotive sector so that it continues to thrive and this investment, supported by GBP8.9m from Government's Regional Growth Fund, will create more jobs that mean financial security and economic piece of mind for more hardworking families."

Business Secretary, Vince Cable added: "From pencil line to production line, these engines will be fully designed and built in the UK, securing the future of the plant at Dagenham and creating over 300 new jobs. This latest investment by Ford, supported by GBP8.9m from the Government's Regional Growth Fund, is testament to the strength of our automotive sector and demonstrates Ford's ongoing commitment to the UK.

"Through the UK government's industrial strategy we are backing the automotive sector as it goes from strength to strength. We are providing the right environment to give businesses the confidence to invest and create high skilled jobs."

Stephen Odell, Ford Executive Vice President, Europe, Middle East & Africa said: "Ford is delighted to announce this next phase of investment at Dagenham. The overall investment of over GBP475m, supported by the UK Government, underlines Ford's commitment to the UK. This all-new, state-of-the-art, low carbon diesel engine has not only been designed and developed here it will be manufactured by Ford in the UK too. And it will be great for UK plc as these engines will be exported to markets around the world."

This latest diesel engine programme at Ford Dagenham is part of a GBP1.5 billion investment by Ford in low-carbon and environmentally friendly engine and vehicle technology over five years.

Ford produces engines at two locations in the UK, petrol engines from Ford Bridgend in Wales and diesel engines at Ford Dagenham. Total production from the two plants exceeded 1.5 million engines in 2013.

See also: April 2014 management briefing: UK engine manufacturing (1)

Government funds GBP5.4m to boost UK suppliers' OEM parts sales