By Daniel Hunter

Ford have announced that they will close plants in Southampton and Dagenham, resulting in the loss of 1,400 jobs.

The carmaker will shut their Southampton Transit van factory and the stamping plant at Dagenham, Essex, with union sources saying the job losses could reach 2,000.

"We will address the crisis in Europe with a laser focus on new products, a stronger brand and increased cost efficiency," said Ford boss Alan Mulally.

"We recognise the impact our actions will have on many employees and their families in Europe, and we will work together with all stakeholders during this necessary transformation of our business."

The news came a day after Ford said it had started consultations on closing its factory at Genk in Belgium.

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