Fleet News

Escort's UK future uncertain as Ford faces up to its losses

THE future of Ford Escort production in the UK remained uncertain as the manufacturer refused to confirm reports that it would not close its Halewood plant near Liverpool where the model is built.

Ford has seen its UK market share rapidly deteriorate in recent years, and huge European losses triggered by excess capacity have forced the company to look at cost cutting measures. Analysts say UK and German plants are most at risk.

Managers are meeting with union representatives this week, and an announcement over Halewood's future was expected by today (Friday). One insider speculated that the announcement was likely to reveal that Halewood unions would agree to substantial labour concessions and efficiency improvements. However, it is not clear whether the plant will join Ford's factories in Valencia and Saarlouis, Germany in making the next Escort.

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