LONDON (Reuters) – Car manufacturer Ford is to close its British engine manufacturing plant in Bridgend, Wales, ITV news reported, saying an announcement would be made on Thursday.
The BBC reported that union leaders from the plant had been called to the company’s headquarters for a meeting on Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Ford declined to comment on what she said was speculation.
Ford makes around 1.3 million engines at two British locations, Bridgend and Dagenham in eastern England. It has previously warned it could face $1 billion in tariff costs in case of a so-called hard Brexit.
In January, Ford said it would cut thousands of jobs, look at plant closures and discontinue loss-making vehicle lines as part of a turnaround effort, and would start consultations with unions on the plans. The Unite union said at the time it expected nearly 1,000 job losses at Bridgend.
While the company has announced 5,000 job cuts in Germany, its second-biggest European market, it has yet to make major decisions in Britain, which is its biggest.
Britain’s largely foreign-owned car industry has become increasingly concerned as a stable and attractive investment environment descends into political crisis.
Ford’s British-built engines, which are shipped for fitting in vehicles in Germany, Turkey, the United States and elsewhere, could face delays and extra costs from a no-deal Brexit.
(Reporting by William James; editing by Stephen Addison)