Carmaker Ford axes 850 British jobs

Up to 850 UK jobs are being axed by carmaker Ford as it struggles to cope with the "serious economic situation" affecting the motor industry.

Hardest hit, with between 400 and 500 jobs to go by May, will be the Transit van plant in Southampton. Salaried staff will bear the brunt of the rest of the cuts.

The company is also to "re-evaluate" this year's 5.2% pay deal on the grounds that its business situation has "significantly" worsened since it was drawn up last year.

It said: "Such a serious step would not normally be contemplated, but in the unprecedented circumstances the priority is to ensure a sustainable Ford Motor Company.

"As demand across the industry continues to fall, we are facing some immediate and major challenges which require us to take decisive action to reduce all our costs, and to do so in ways which will best protect our business for the long term and ensure that we are well positioned to be among the winners when recovery does come.

"Those companies which act quickly in taking the right decisions will be those who not only survive but who emerge strongest from this deep recession."

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