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Ford to invest £23m in new Advanced Propulsion Laboratory
Ford has consolidated its UK operations and established the headquarters of its European commercial vehicle business group at its Dunton Campus in Laindon, Essex. The campus will also see a £23m investment in a new Advanced Propulsion Laboratory.
As part of the new changes, and to highlight its new role at the centre of the company’s activities in the UK, Ford’s former Dunton Technical Centre has been renamed to Dunton Campus.
In addition to the location for the European commercial vehicles business group, the Dunton Campus, is now home to Ford’s light commercial vehicle engineering, powertrain engineering, Ford of Britain national sales company, and Ford Credit Europe, Ford’s banking arm.
The commercial vehicle business group’s dedicated management team leads all aspects of Ford’s European market-leading commercial vehicle operations and has the objective to double Ford’s commercial vehicle profitability within the next five years.
The group is an integral part of Ford’s new operating model, representing the most comprehensive redesign in the history of Ford in Europe. Ford is also on track to significantly improve its financial results in Europe in 2019, paving the way to sustainable profitability and its longer-term goal of delivering a 6% EBIT margin.
Graham Hoare, chairman and executive director of business transformation at Ford of Britain, said: “This is an important step for our Ford business activities and shows our continued commitment to the UK. This is one among a number of actions as we continue to improve our efficiency and effectiveness to create a sustainably profitable Ford business in this country.
“The consolidation of our commercial vehicles business group and our other main office and technical operations on the Dunton Campus, provides many of our employees with better, more creative and collaborative working environments, while also reducing costs and enhancing our ability to better focus on the needs of our customers.”
Ford has also announced an investment of £23m to construct a new commercial vehicle Advanced Propulsion Laboratory on the Dunton Campus that includes powertrain NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) test chambers, and a testing area for electrification technologies. The new test facilities start operation in late 2020, and technical personnel presently working in other test areas will operate the new facilities following any required upskilling or retraining.
“The new Advanced Propulsion Laboratory supports our UK and European commercial vehicle leadership and enables us to stay at the forefront of new vehicle technologies, including electrification,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe.
Ford is launching its first plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van and Tourneo Custom people carrier later this year, and a new, all-electric Transit joins the Transit range in 2021. Designed to deliver pure-electric power, the all-electric Transit will both contribute to cleaner, quieter towns and cities, and reduce costs for business and operators.
In total, Ford will launch eight electrified passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles in Europe this year, with another nine to come – including full battery electric vehicles – by 2024.