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Last Updated: Monday, 26 January, 2004, 20:05 GMT
Job losses as Ford plant shuts
Car giant Ford is to close one of its Essex sites with the loss of about 150 factory and office jobs.

The pre-production plant at Aveley is where Ford has made prototype vehicles since the facility first opened in 1956.

But the company said on Monday that technology had reduced the number of prototype vehicles required before production by 40%.

The result is that Aveley, which currently employs 550 workers, will close and the majority of staff transferred to other Essex sites.

About 150 people are expected to be made redundant with most of the changes planned to be in place by August this year.

Ford said it was considering a number of options for Aveley, which used to make Escort rally cars, including selling the site.

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