The arrival of Jaguar production in Halewood will cause a major shake-up among UK component suppliers, with some former Ford Escort suppliers to Halewood having to fight to retain orders from other Ford plants in Europe.
The current Escort model will remain in production at Halewood after the launch of its successor this year, with the car sold as a budget Escort Classic.
But production of the people carrier based on the new Escort will now shift to Ford plants at Saarlouis in Germany or Valencia in Spain rather than Halewood as originally planned.
Some British component suppliers who had been banking on orders from that vehicle may be disappointed with work going instead to locally based companies close to the plants. Both Saarlouis and Valencia have supplier parks alongside.
‘Major quoted companies will be closely involved in whatever Ford or Jaguar are doing,’ said analyst Tony Lancelot of broker Albert ESharp. ‘It is smaller suppliers that are more likely to suffer a hit on their order books.’
Jaguar is recruiting engineers for its Engineering Centre at Whitley, near Coventry, for the X400 project.