Ford to double capacity at Wales engine plant

RUSSELL HOTTEN

Ford, the US car company, was today hoping to confirm plans for an investment of more than pounds 300m to double capacity at its engine plant in South Wales.

The company's executives were last night said to be putting the finishing touches to the plan, which is expected to be announced by the Secretary of State for Wales, William Hague.

The Government is backing the project with state aid, and officials worked hard behind the scenes to persuade Ford to choose its Bridgend plant against competition from factories in Spain and Germany.

"There are still one or two administrative things to be sorted," said a Ford spokesman. "We are hopeful of news."

The investment is likely to provide a huge jobs boost, both at Bridgend and among UK components suppliers. Speculation that the investment would be between pounds 250m and pounds 300m were said by one Ford source to be "a bit shy of mark".

The Bridgend plant employs about 800 workers and produces about 550,000 engines a year, including engines for Ford's popular Mondeo model. Last April, Ford said it was putting another pounds 200m into a new production line for diesels at its Dagenham plant in Essex. The expansion means Bridgend will make the 1.25 litre Zetec engine for Ford's new Fiesta car, which will be unveiled at the London Motor Show on Thursday.

Alex Trotman, Ford's chairman, told a conference yesterday: "We feel very good about prospects for 1996. We are going into 1996 with an extremely strong product line."

For the industry as a whole, 1996 would be a stronger year than 1995, and further improvements are likely in 1997, Mr Trotman said. He added that Ford is looking to add an additional 200-300 new dealers in Japan as part of the US/Japan car agreement, in addition to its existing 300 dealers.

"We'd like to sign some of the very strong indigenous Japanese dealers, primarily Nissan and Toyota." He added that the strong Japanese auto sales presence in the US was built up on the back of Ford, General Motors and Chrysler dealers.

Meanwhile, Rover car company today confirmed that it was exploring the possibilities of building a new engine plant, possibly in the West Midlands.

"We will eventually need new engine facilities and it is likely that we will make a decision within the next six months," a Rover spokesman said.

However, BMW, Rover's parent, played down the suggestion. "Neither the plant's capacity, nor how much we will invest in it, nor its location, has yet been decided," a spokesman said.

COMPANY RESULTS

Turnover pounds Pre-tax pounds EPS Dividend

Beradin Holdings (I) 0.62m (0.49m) 0.37m (0.2m) 1.71p (0.75p) nil (nil)

Olives Property (I) 1.28m (0.75m) 0.34m (0.22m) 0.49p(0.46p) nil (nil)

Highland Dists (F) 181m (176m) 42.9m (42.5m) 22.1p (21.9p) 7.9p (7.26p)

Farnell Electronic (I) 253m (228m) 0.07m (0.03m) 38.1p (14.3p) 4.6p (3.8p)

Hewitt (I) 4.19m (4.19m) 0.37m (-2.34m) 1.9p (-71.4p) nil (nil)

Padang Senang (I) 0.43m (0.26m) 0.23m (0.07m) 3.17p (0.65p) nil (nil)

Singapore Para Rubber (I) 0.53m (0.34m) 0.34m (0.15m) 2.27p (0.78p) nil (nil)

(Q) - Quarterly (F) - Final (I) - Interim

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Bobbi Kristina Brown with her mother Whitney Houston in 2011
people
News
The actress Geraldine McEwan was perhaps best known for playing Agatha Christie's detective, Miss Marple (Rex)
peopleShe won a Bafta in 1991 for her role in Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit
News
The guide, since withdrawn, used illustrations and text to help people understand the court process (Getty)
Ministry of Justice gets law 'terribly wrong' in its guide to courts
News
Starting the day with a three-egg omelette could make people more charitable, according to new research
scienceFeed someone a big omelette, and they may give twice as much, thanks to a compound in the eggs
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
newsPatrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
News
Robert Fraser, aka Groovy Bob
peopleA new show honours Robert Fraser, one of the era's forgotten players
Life and Style
Torsten Sherwood's Noook is a simple construction toy for creating mini-architecture
tech
News
Top Gun actor Val Kilmer lost his small claims court battle in Van Nuys with the landlord of his Malibu mansion to get back his deposit after wallpapering over the kitchen cabinets
people
Sport
David Silva celebrates with Sergio Aguero after equalising against Chelsea
footballChelsea 1 Manchester City 1
News
i100
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
News
peopleHere's what Stephen Fry would say
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Richard Dawkins is known for his outspoken views
people
Life and Style
L’Auberge du pont de Collonges (AFP)
food + drinkFury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Arts and Entertainment
Bourne's New Adventures dance company worked with 27 young Londoners to devise a curtain-raiser staged before New Adventures' performance of Edward Scissorhands
theatreStar choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells
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.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Product Manager - (Product Marketing, Financial Services)

£30000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Assistant

£13000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Pension Specialist was established ...

Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive

£23000 - £26000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Market Research Executive...

Day In a Page

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links