Ford intends to restart initial production at its Dagenham Engine Plant in Essex and Bridgend Engine Plant in South Wales from May 18, following closures due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Together with Valencia Engine Plant in Spain, which also restarts production next week, the resumption of production in the UK means that all of Ford’s European manufacturing facilities will be back at work.
“As we return to work at our two engine plants in the UK, our key priority is the implementation of Ford’s global standards on social distancing and strengthened health and safety protocols to safeguard the well-being of our workforce,” said Graham Hoare, chairman, Ford of Britain.
A comprehensive set of Ford global standards on social distancing and employee health and safety actions – and which exceed the UK Government’s current guidance – are being implemented across Ford’s facilities in the UK.
Ford will continue to build ventilator sub-assemblies for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium which is supplying the National Health Service with the much-needed units. The facility used in the assembly of the ventilators is separate from the main engine plant buildings at Dagenham and has no impact on engine production.
Ford also is producing face masks for its UK employees and those across its facilities in Europe.
“The past few months have been an extraordinary period for our business and our country, but throughout the pandemic Ford people have shown the strength of character that truly makes them the Backbone of Britain,” added Hoare.
“From building sub-assemblies for the VentilatorChallengeUK Consortium at Dagenham, to manufacturing face masks at our Dunton Campus, and from loaning in excess of 200 vehicles to more than 40 organisations including 10 National Health Service ambulance trusts, to those in our workforce engaged in supporting their communities in a wide range of actions, Ford employees have made a valuable contribution to this country’s fight against Coronavirus.”
The announcement comes as car showrooms are expected to join “non-essential” retail businesses in re-opening on June 1, in line with the Government’s 50-page ‘COVID-19 Recovery Strategy’ document.
While food retailers, hardware stores and garden centres also have the green light to open, a phased re-opening schedule depending on a controlled rate of infections will see other retail operations open from June 1.