THE Ford factory in Southampton, which employs around 500 people from around the region, is to close.
The car giant confirmed its plans to cease its Transit Van manufacture in the city by next summer and instead move the operation to Turkey.
Ford has had a presence in Southampton for the past 40 years, sending out vans to the world via the Southampton docks.
Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council, said: ‘The county council will be working with Southampton City Council and other local partners to mitigate the impact, and will be supporting the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership and others in pressing the case for government help for the local economy.’
Stephen Odell, chairman and chief executive of Ford of Europe, added: ‘We have to act quickly and decisively to address the collapse in consumer demand in Europe today and position Ford for profitable growth tomorrow.’
Solent LEP is now looking to speed up the launch of its £2m Regional Growth Fund which will help businesses grow. It is working with the government to introduce the scheme before 2013 in an attempt to protect private sector jobs.