Fleet News

Dagenham in line to build Ka models

THE second car to be built at Ford's Dagenham, Essex, plant in the new millennium looks set to be the Ka. This week, Ford announced that it had signed a new agreement with the trade unions which would see capacity rise from 272,000 units a year to 300,000 and that the plant would become the sole Western European source for a second model - the plant is the home of Fiesta.

However, Ford says both changes - which would see the second model line have a capacity of 150,000 units a year - are subject to agreed performance milestones being reached. In November 1997, Ford confirmed that Dagenham would be the lead plant for the next generation Fiesta due early in the next decade and the likelihood of a second model for Dagenham follows massive European demand for the new Focus.

Focus is at present built alongside Ka at the Valencia plant and at the manufacturer's plant in Germany. However, it is understood that, to meet continued demand across the continent for Focus, Ford will switch Ka production to Dagenham. Newspaper speculation following Ford's announcement centred on the likelihood that the second vehicle to be built at Dagenham would be a multi-activity vehicle off the Fiesta platform, but Fleet NewsNet has been told by a Ford insider that such a strategy was not true.

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