Ford’s production of the Tourneo minibus will continue at its Southampton plant until 2013.
The plant at Wide Lane, Swaythling, employs 500 people and builds short and medium wheelbase and Tourneo minibus versions of the Transit van. Half of its 28,700 unit output is exported annually.
However, after 2013, production of Tourneo will move and only chassis-cab Transit production will remain at Southampton. Production of short and medium wheelbase versions of Transit, including the Tourneo, will move to Turkey.
Dan Jones, spokesman for Ford, said: “Employment at the plant is expected to continue at least at current levels to support chassis cab production. Production of current model Transit will continue at Southampton until the plant becomes the primary source for future chassis cab models.”
Swaythling plant experienced an unexpected boost after 2008 as many truck operators switched to vans for deliveries, precipitated London’s Low Emissions Zone and internet sales deliveries.
The Transit was introduced 46 years ago, with 2 million being sold in Britain alone. Sales of Transits worldwide exceed 6.3 million.