This week the manufacturer announced that the plant would not be producing vehicles on 25 days between February 1 and April 30 due to a reduction in vehicle demand in export markets. Ford's decision inevitably heightens concern at the viability of the Dagenham factory, but this week a Ford spokesman told Fleet News: 'Dagenham is not under threat. A lot of investment will be going into the plant in the future. The export market is very tough at the moment.'
The production cutbacks will see the plant producing about 17,000 Fiestas to the end of April and cutting about 40,000 units from the build schedule.
Meanwhile, two Land Rover models are to have production suspended in the latest in a series of cutbacks to hit Rover Group. But the manufacturer says suspending work on the Defender for two weeks and the Range Rover for one week is simply a way of taking advantage of new flexible working patterns agreed last year. Rover says the production shortfall will be made up when demand is greater in August and September.