Ford bosses face barrage by angry MPs

Daily Echo: Dressing down: Ford of Britain chairman Joe Greenwell Dressing down: Ford of Britain chairman Joe Greenwell

FORD bosses were given a dressing down by Hampshire MPs yesterday over the way the closure of the Southampton plant was handled.

Joe Greenwell, the chairman of Ford of Britain, was left in “no doubt” of the scale of their anger.

Conservative Caroline Nokes, Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne and Labour’s John Denham and Alan Whitehead urged the company to do more to help contractors who have lost their jobs as well as to hand over the Swaythling site to the community.

Mr Greenwell revealed around 50 new jobs could be created by the company with a new vehicle handling and refurbishment facility, probably based at Southampton docks.

Speaking after the “clear the air” talks, Mr Huhne said: “All of the MPs felt Ford had not handled this well. We made it very clear that this was not the way Ford had handled previous announcements. He took it on board and understood it.”

The Parliamentarians also raised the levels of taxpayer-funded support given to Ford in recent years, including an £80m European loan for its Turkish plant and a £9m handout to create jobs in Essex, announced on the day it decided to close down Southampton.

There have been calls for the Swaythling plant to be converted into a business-friendly enterprise zone.

Ownership is complicated as Ford does not own all of the freehold, and it is managed by Ford Land, a separate entity, although Mr Greenwell assured the MPs he was “not without influence” in any final decision.

Ms Nokes said: “They are acutely aware that they have some work to do to restore their reputation in the city. I think there is a genuine commitment to make sure it happens.”

On the MPs’ requests for action, Mr Denham added: “Other than giving us a commitment to looking at them and working on them, they were not in a position to go into specifics.”

The meeting came the day after Ford bosses in Europe found themselves under siege as anger over factories’ closures spilled over.

Workers stormed the company’s European headquarters in a violent protest against the firm slashing thousands of jobs – including more than 500 in Southampton – after taking billions in Government grants and loans.

More than 150 demonstrators went on the rampage yesterday, right, in the northern city of Cologne, blocking the entrance to the offices, torching tyres and throwing fireworks at police officers.

Then a group of 20 to 40 stormed the building and threw stones through windows.

Inside, a tense meeting was under way between Ford management and worker representatives including the UK union Unite, which represents workers at Swaythling.

Coaches arrived from the factory in Genk in Belgium, which, like Southampton, has had repeated assurances over its future.

Ford has announced plans to shut the assembly plant, which makes Mondeo and Galaxy cars, jeopardising some 5,000 jobs.

 

Comments (18)

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8:46am Fri 9 Nov 12

hulla baloo says...

I bet the Ford bosses are really worried.
I bet the Ford bosses are really worried. hulla baloo
  • Score: 0

8:54am Fri 9 Nov 12

Torchie1 says...

No-one gets to the senior management level without sailing through some choppy water and MPs have to be seen to be doing something.
No-one gets to the senior management level without sailing through some choppy water and MPs have to be seen to be doing something. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

9:22am Fri 9 Nov 12

hulla baloo says...

Torchie1 wrote:
No-one gets to the senior management level without sailing through some choppy water and MPs have to be seen to be doing something.
Instead of having a go at a lost cause, it would be more beneficial of their time and resources to be seen trying to bring in new companies and investment to the area.
[quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: No-one gets to the senior management level without sailing through some choppy water and MPs have to be seen to be doing something.[/p][/quote]Instead of having a go at a lost cause, it would be more beneficial of their time and resources to be seen trying to bring in new companies and investment to the area. hulla baloo
  • Score: 0

9:36am Fri 9 Nov 12

Linesman says...

I bet that John Greenwell cried, all the way to the bank, where he checked out the size of the government's grant.

The MPs, especially those in the coalition, need to look to their own competence regarding the grant, before they attack Ford.

It is OUR, money, TAXPAYERS' money that they have been giving away without any checking.
I bet that John Greenwell cried, all the way to the bank, where he checked out the size of the government's grant. The MPs, especially those in the coalition, need to look to their own competence regarding the grant, before they attack Ford. It is OUR, money, TAXPAYERS' money that they have been giving away without any checking. Linesman
  • Score: 0

11:05am Fri 9 Nov 12

madmandy says...

big deal so he got a dressing down come on echo lets get news in your paper which really is readable no one cares about this ,
big deal so he got a dressing down come on echo lets get news in your paper which really is readable no one cares about this , madmandy
  • Score: 0

11:09am Fri 9 Nov 12

Lone Ranger. says...

hulla baloo wrote:
Torchie1 wrote:
No-one gets to the senior management level without sailing through some choppy water and MPs have to be seen to be doing something.
Instead of having a go at a lost cause, it would be more beneficial of their time and resources to be seen trying to bring in new companies and investment to the area.
Depends on what you consider to be a lost cause.
.
If the company do more to help contractors who have lost their jobs, and convince Ford hand over the Swaythling site to the community or part of it ......
.
........ is that a lost cause
.
According to the report Mr Greenwell assured the MPs he was “not without influence” in any final decision.
.
........ Is that a lost cause
[quote][p][bold]hulla baloo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Torchie1[/bold] wrote: No-one gets to the senior management level without sailing through some choppy water and MPs have to be seen to be doing something.[/p][/quote]Instead of having a go at a lost cause, it would be more beneficial of their time and resources to be seen trying to bring in new companies and investment to the area.[/p][/quote]Depends on what you consider to be a lost cause. . If the company do more to help contractors who have lost their jobs, and convince Ford hand over the Swaythling site to the community or part of it ...... . ........ is that a lost cause . According to the report Mr Greenwell assured the MPs he was “not without influence” in any final decision. . ........ Is that a lost cause Lone Ranger.
  • Score: 0

11:40am Fri 9 Nov 12

loosehead says...

I did say Ford didn't own all the land so exactly where does Southy get his information?
Ownership is complicated as Ford does not own all of the freehold?
I did say Ford didn't own all the land so exactly where does Southy get his information? Ownership is complicated as Ford does not own all of the freehold? loosehead
  • Score: 0

11:41am Fri 9 Nov 12

madmike says...

After it's all over Greenwell wil go back to his nice big air conditioned off ice ,put his feet up and not have a care in the world. Do you really think he cares? Of course not . He'll still get his huge salary every month.This whole business stinks and the government are just as much to blame.They should now make Ford give the money back. I worked for Ford for 32 years , so i know what Ford management are like.
After it's all over Greenwell wil go back to his nice big air conditioned off ice ,put his feet up and not have a care in the world. Do you really think he cares? Of course not . He'll still get his huge salary every month.This whole business stinks and the government are just as much to blame.They should now make Ford give the money back. I worked for Ford for 32 years , so i know what Ford management are like. madmike
  • Score: 0

11:54am Fri 9 Nov 12

ohec says...

A little unfair i think if the MPs had done nothing they would have been in the wrong, unfortunately apart from showing their displeasure at the way it has been handled all they can do is hand out the begging bowl, yes you may laugh but if they were successful in some way it would be a different tale.
A little unfair i think if the MPs had done nothing they would have been in the wrong, unfortunately apart from showing their displeasure at the way it has been handled all they can do is hand out the begging bowl, yes you may laugh but if they were successful in some way it would be a different tale. ohec
  • Score: 0

12:01pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Shoong says...

Linesman wrote:
I bet that John Greenwell cried, all the way to the bank, where he checked out the size of the government's grant.

The MPs, especially those in the coalition, need to look to their own competence regarding the grant, before they attack Ford.

It is OUR, money, TAXPAYERS' money that they have been giving away without any checking.
No government is under any obligation to inform you of they way it dishes out money, rightly or wrongly.

You were never going to get a copy of the receipt.

I can see an error in your post - it should read 'MY money', because that's what you really mean.
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: I bet that John Greenwell cried, all the way to the bank, where he checked out the size of the government's grant. The MPs, especially those in the coalition, need to look to their own competence regarding the grant, before they attack Ford. It is OUR, money, TAXPAYERS' money that they have been giving away without any checking.[/p][/quote]No government is under any obligation to inform you of they way it dishes out money, rightly or wrongly. You were never going to get a copy of the receipt. I can see an error in your post - it should read 'MY money', because that's what you really mean. Shoong
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Skipper38 says...

If MPs managed the UK economy as well as Ford manages its business, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.

They should stop grandstanding and get on with reducing government expenditure and taxation.
If MPs managed the UK economy as well as Ford manages its business, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. They should stop grandstanding and get on with reducing government expenditure and taxation. Skipper38
  • Score: 0

12:40pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Skipper38 says...

If MPs managed the UK economy as well as Ford manages its business, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in.

They should stop grandstanding and get on with reducing government expenditure and taxation.
If MPs managed the UK economy as well as Ford manages its business, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in. They should stop grandstanding and get on with reducing government expenditure and taxation. Skipper38
  • Score: 0

1:02pm Fri 9 Nov 12

freefinker says...

loosehead wrote:
I did say Ford didn't own all the land so exactly where does Southy get his information?
Ownership is complicated as Ford does not own all of the freehold?
.. almost all of southy's "information" is made up.

I thought we all knew that.
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: I did say Ford didn't own all the land so exactly where does Southy get his information? Ownership is complicated as Ford does not own all of the freehold?[/p][/quote].. almost all of southy's "information" is made up. I thought we all knew that. freefinker
  • Score: 0

1:25pm Fri 9 Nov 12

sharkie50 says...

All this arguing and complaining is all just a total waste of time, They called the Transit the backbone of Britian, Well show some spine and hit them where it hurts, don't buy any Ford products There are plenty of good cars and vans being built in Britian by other car manufactures and let Ford go to the Turkish Govenment for it's next hand out and see how far that gets them.
All this arguing and complaining is all just a total waste of time, They called the Transit the backbone of Britian, Well show some spine and hit them where it hurts, don't buy any Ford products There are plenty of good cars and vans being built in Britian by other car manufactures and let Ford go to the Turkish Govenment for it's next hand out and see how far that gets them. sharkie50
  • Score: 0

1:39pm Fri 9 Nov 12

Gainer T Gopher says...

Well, if there is so much government money in the Southampton plant, they should take it over and start building British cars.... revive the days of British car manufacturers.....
Well, if there is so much government money in the Southampton plant, they should take it over and start building British cars.... revive the days of British car manufacturers..... Gainer T Gopher
  • Score: 0

2:08pm Fri 9 Nov 12

rich the stitch says...

loosehead wrote:
I did say Ford didn't own all the land so exactly where does Southy get his information? Ownership is complicated as Ford does not own all of the freehold?
He is full of so much cr@p I'm sure he just bends over and pulls the 'information' from there
[quote][p][bold]loosehead[/bold] wrote: I did say Ford didn't own all the land so exactly where does Southy get his information? Ownership is complicated as Ford does not own all of the freehold?[/p][/quote]He is full of so much cr@p I'm sure he just bends over and pulls the 'information' from there rich the stitch
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Fri 9 Nov 12

loosehead says...

Linesman wrote:
I bet that John Greenwell cried, all the way to the bank, where he checked out the size of the government's grant.

The MPs, especially those in the coalition, need to look to their own competence regarding the grant, before they attack Ford.

It is OUR, money, TAXPAYERS' money that they have been giving away without any checking.
Is that the same Government that gave a grant to Liverpool for a certain reason but didn't have it in the conditions that if use of said terminal was to change all monies should be paid back in full?
That grant to Dagenham will ensure two plants survival what! you want them to shut as well?
The Turkish plant should never have been given anything & gives me more reason to want to get the hell out of the EU
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: I bet that John Greenwell cried, all the way to the bank, where he checked out the size of the government's grant. The MPs, especially those in the coalition, need to look to their own competence regarding the grant, before they attack Ford. It is OUR, money, TAXPAYERS' money that they have been giving away without any checking.[/p][/quote]Is that the same Government that gave a grant to Liverpool for a certain reason but didn't have it in the conditions that if use of said terminal was to change all monies should be paid back in full? That grant to Dagenham will ensure two plants survival what! you want them to shut as well? The Turkish plant should never have been given anything & gives me more reason to want to get the hell out of the EU loosehead
  • Score: 0

11:24am Sat 10 Nov 12

Bowmore says...

MPs and others should be very careful about the amount of Ford bashing they do. It could lead to Ford closing all their plants in the UK,
Bridgend - Petrol engines;
Dagenham - Diesel engines;
Halewood - Transmissions;
Dunton - Research and development;
each of which employs thousands more than Southampton and moving all production to friendlier countries.
MPs and others should be very careful about the amount of Ford bashing they do. It could lead to Ford closing all their plants in the UK, Bridgend - Petrol engines; Dagenham - Diesel engines; Halewood - Transmissions; Dunton - Research and development; each of which employs thousands more than Southampton and moving all production to friendlier countries. Bowmore
  • Score: 0

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