In addition to the Southampton plant Ford put together the Transit van in Ford Otosan Assembly, in Kocaeli, Turkey, and Genk Body and Assembly in Genk, Belgium.

The Turkey plant works solely on the Ford Transit while the Belgian site also produce the Mondeo.

In Britain two other plants work on the Transit with the engines being built in Dagenham, Essex, and transmissions being constructed at Halewood on Merseyside.

Ford has manufacturing operations on six continents.

In Europe it is has 35 sites spread across nine different countries.

After heavy job cuts around the world Ford managed to claw its way back into the black and proved critics wrong showing a profit for the first three months of 2008.

Globally Ford now employs 246,000 staff in 95 plants having established new sites in Mexico and India.