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New face at Ford is silent about future at Southampton Transit plant
Despite being the new Ford of Britain commercial vehicle director, Steve Clary, pictured, cannot make guarantees over the long-term strategy for the Transit factory.
The Swaythling operation currently employs around 500 workers after slashing numbers by half last year.
When asked for an interview with the new boss a Ford spokesman said: “There is nothing new that Steve Clary can add regarding the future of the Southampton plant.
“Ford’s Southampton plant operates within a competitive European commercial vehicle market.
“It is intended that the current Transit model will be produced at Southampton until the next generation Transit model is introduced.
“Key for the successor model is that all derivatives are manufactured on a profitable basis. Ford has outlined a multi-million pound investment plan for Southampton as lead plant for the chassis cab variants of the next model Transit.”
Mr Clary has been with Ford for 30 years and lives in Hertfordshire.
He replaces Steve Kimber who is taking over as Ford Component Sale managing director in Ford of Europe’s Customer Service Division.
The mass job cuts – 550 voluntary redundancies – sent shockwaves through the supply chain and contract firms.
The first sign of question marks over the future of the Ford plant came to light when the Daily Echo exclus i v e l y p u b - lished a leaked memo revealing the plant was under review.
The months that followed saw demonstrations, walkouts and union meetings.
These were covered as part of an extensive series of Daily Echo exclusives from workers, top-level bosses, politicians and sources inside the plant.