Ford in Essex
Ford have been based in Basildon for over 50 years and Ford Dunton was the largest engineering research centre in Europe when it opened in 1967. To this day, Ford Dunton remains the company’s main European engineering base.
Ford Dunton acts as a global centre for the company’s engine, transmission, as well as commercial vehicle engineering and development, with engine engineering and development carried out in conjunction with the nearby Dagenham Diesel Centre.
In November 2018, Ford announced that they would be closing their current UK headquarters in Brentwood in order to relocate to Ford Dunton, which is 6 miles away. They subsequently hope that this move will lead to the relocation of staff to both the Ford Dunton and Ford Dagenham Technical Centres as part of a plan to bring the company’s main UK-based office activities together by the end of 2019.
Dunton currently employs a sizeable 3,500 people and is responsible for developing Ford’s latest, highly-acclaimed, low-carbon powertrains as well as the latest versions of the iconic Ford Transit.
The site at Dunton has also been recognised in recent years for numerous achievements. In particular, Ford’s 1-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine won the International Engine of the Year Award in 2012 and 2013 thanks to technology developed by Dunton and Dagenham based engineers. The new Ford Transit Custom, engineered in Basildon, also won the 2013 ‘International Van of the Year’ Award.
We have very specific requirements for engineers, and while many of the skills are available locally, for some specialisations it is necessary to relocate people from around the UK. Essex's quality of life generally proves an attractive proposition for these people. We recognise the value of the Thames Gateway investment. The Basildon base is important for Ford's manufacturing and distribution strategy and with its road links, nearby deep water jetty and train spur, Basildon has plenty of transport options for us to reach our other UK plants. This includes movement to and from our European and international sites via the River Thames, Channel Tunnel, motorways and rail links.
Head of the Ford Technical Centre, Dunton, Basildon.
Ford Motor Company
Eco-friendly electric vehicles
Looking to the future, Dunton is set to play a crucial role in Ford’s operations. A landmark fleet of plug-in hybrid Transit vans have both been designed and engineered at Ford Dunton, making them the first volume van maker to offer a van of this kind.
This is part of a general move by Ford, the UK’s best-selling commercial vehicle brand, to lead the pack in electric and autonomous vehicles by investing $11bn into this area by 2022.
This new breed of eco-friendly Transit vans are currently in the middle of a London trial which is being organised in conjunction with Transport for London, before being scheduled for volume production in 2019.
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 202,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles.
To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility.