Manufacturing: Keep Britain moving... with Turkish Transit vans

 

White van men across the country will be bereft. The mighty Ford Transit van, so loved by tradesmen and small-business owners, is no longer a minor British institution.

This week, the last of seven million Transit vans rolled off the company’s Southampton production line, bringing 40 years of automotive history to an end. Of more concern for the local area is that with its departure – it was finished in white, obvs – the plant will close with the loss of 356 jobs.

Ford has been making its Transit range – including everything from vans, minibuses and flat-bed trucks to specialist vehicles such as ambulances and police vans – in Britain since 1972, but the plant’s days were numbered with the euro crisis and a sales falling off a cliff.

So, from now on, white van man won’t just be chomping on a Turkish kebab at the end of his rounds (while drinking the obligatory can of Red Bull and leafing through The Sun), he’ll also be sitting in a Turkish-made vehicle. Production of Transit is off to Kocaeli in sunny Turkey, where the US giant says costs are “significantly lower”.

That’s little consolation to the Ford workers heading to the dole queue, though, and the closure isn’t doing wonders for Ford’s corporate image here in Britain. You can’t help but wonder if the advertising executives behind the slick Transit adverts, with taglines including “Backbone of Britain”, are looking awkwardly at their shoes right now. The genius behind the “Keep Britain Moving” campaign is probably particularly embarrassed. Now, that’s what you call car-crash marketing.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Appointment Maker / Telesales

    £15000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading supplie...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - Dereham

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

    Recruitment Genius: Trainee Field Sales Executive - OTE £30,000

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This organisation is proud to b...

    Recruitment Genius: Audit Assistant

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Graduate Opportunities are available at a lead...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project