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20 October 2014, 12:22
David Cameron has been at the Ford plant in Dagenham today - and welcomed a £190m investment by the company as a "vote of confidence" in the Government's economic plan.
The extra investment, which includes £8.9m from the Government's Regional Growth Fund, is for the production of new low-carbon diesel engines for cars and vans at the motoring giant's Dagenham plant.
The project will see the plant turn out up to half a million of the two-litre engines a year and create more than 300 jobs.
Today's announcement is the second phase of investment in the new engine programme and takes the total amount of funding for the project to in excess of £475m.
The first phase of investment relates to the production of state-of-the-art engines for Ford commercial vehicles around the world, while the second phase is for passenger cars.
The engines have been designed and developed at Ford Dagenham and at the Ford Dunton Technical Centre in Essex.
The first engines will come off the line towards the end of next year. Production capacity will be up to 350,000 units per year - one engine produced every 30 seconds - and will be installed in Ford commercial vehicles from 2016.
The second phase is due to start in 2017, with the first installation in Ford cars planned for 2018. The added capacity of up to 150,000 units for this phase brings the total annual capacity for the all-new engine range to up to 500,000.
The Prime Minister said:
"I welcome Ford's commitment to Dagenham and the UK, which is a vote of confidence in our long-term economic plan to back business, create more jobs and secure a brighter future for Britain.
We are backing our automotive sector so that it continues to thrive and this investment, supported by #8.9 million from Government's Regional Growth Fund, will create more jobs that mean financial security and economic peace of mind for more hard-working families."
European VP for Ford, Stephen Odell said:
"The overall investment of over £475m, supported by the UK Government, underlines Ford's commitment to the UK.
This all-new, state-of-the-art, low carbon diesel engine has not only been designed and developed here it will be manufactured by Ford in the UK too. And it will be great for UK plc as these engines will be exported to markets around the world."