Production of the Ford Transit van is set to move to Turkey in 2011 from the Southampton plant, which will instead produce Ford chassis cabs.
However, uncertainty over when production of the next generation of Transit van will begin could delay the move to Turkey for the ubiquitous Transit van.
The Southampton plant, which makes 35,000 vans a year, will continue to make the Transit until production begins on the new generation. After this it will produce the chassis cabs, which allow users to adapt the cab for specific use.
Production of the Ford Transit started in Southampton in 1972, but recently Ford has been forced to make over 1000 workers redundant because of ‘economic conditions’.
The site was home to the five millionth Ford Transit to roll off the production line in 2005 – 40 years after the first Ford Transit was produced.
Often seen as a British icon, the move to Turkey will be a ‘sad day’, says What Car? Magazine.