Iveco to close Langley factory
Iveco-Ford, the truck-making joint venture between Fiat and Ford, yesterday confirmed plans to close its historic Langley plant near Slough in Berkshire with the loss of 450 jobs.
Iveco said it took the move, another blow to the already shrinking British commercial vehicle industry, because of overcapacity in the European truck market. Alan Fox, the chairman, said demand for medium-sized lorries had shrunk by 40 per cent in the past 20 years.
Production will shift to Brescia in Italy, a move the Transport and General Workers Union said amounted to "social dumping".
The union said it mirrored Ford's recent decision to shift long-term production of the best-selling Escort from its Halewood plant on Merseyside, involving the loss of about 1,300 jobs.
The Langley factory, built 90 years ago, was used to make Hawker Hurricane fighters during the 1930s and 1940s and started producing trucks 35 years ago. Workers build the Cargo truck, which last year took 20 per cent of the UK commercial vehicle market, making it Britain's best-selling lorry. Ford sold its UK truck-building operations to Iveco in 1986.
Production at the site has been declining for several years. In 1996 it made just 7,677 Cargos, of which a fifth were exported, compared with a full production capacity of about 20,000 vehicles. In its best year it managed to make fewer than 17,000 trucks.
Another factor in Iveco's decision is likely to be the value of the 65- acre Langley site, which Ford owns and could sell for more than pounds 50m, depending on whether the local council grants planning permission.
The news came as Renault, the troubled French car giant, announced plans to close its factory in Belgium. Renault said the move would cut its costs by Fr850m (pounds 95m) a year in the face of a huge drop in French car sales. However the one-off cost of closing the plant would total Fr12bn, Renault warned.
Demand for cars has slumped after France ended a scheme to subsidise private buyers willing to scrap their old models. Renault and the privately owned Peugeot group remain unusual in selling almost half their production in their home market.
Workers at the Belgian plant were said to be planning to strike on Monday.
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Perez Hilton apologises for publishing Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
Jennifer Lawrence 'nude photo hacker' claims there are hundreds more celebrity images to come
Victoria Justice on naked photo leak: 'Let me nip this in the bud right now – pun intended'
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
Ariana Grande nude photos leak: Pictures are completely fake, say singer's representatives
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
iJobs Money & Business
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Derivatives Risk Commodities Business A...
£600 - £800 per day: Harrington Starr: Power & Gas Business Analyst/Subject Ma...
£600 - £900 per day: Harrington Starr: Infrastructure Lead, (Trading infrastru...
£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glob...