DAGENHAM, U.K., 6 November, 2003 – The British Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, M.P., today officially opened Ford Motor Company's advanced Dagenham Diesel Centre (DDC) and the adjacent Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME), a world-class education and learning facility. The landmark buildings are located at Dagenham in Essex.
Mr. Blair joined Ford Motor Company President and Chief Operating Officer, Sir Nick Scheele, in touring both state-of-the-art facilities, which underline a unique and major private/public commitment to regeneration in the Thames Gateway region.
Ford Motor Company is investing £325 million in diesel engine engineering and manufacturing alone at Dagenham, which remains the largest industrial centre in the Greater London region and is a positive contributor to the local community. It is expected that around 50 per cent of all cars sold in Europe by 2006 will be diesel-powered.
"We are writing a new chapter of our operations in Britain," said Sir Nick. "We made a firm commitment to diesel engineering and manufacturing excellence at the Dagenham Estate and our investment in the new Dagenham Diesel Centre is an investment in the future. It is designed to be a best-in-class engineering facility for many years to come.
"The Dagenham Diesel Centre doesn't though, represent the full extent of our involvement in the regeneration of Dagenham. We've also committed our investment pounds and our intellectual capital to helping establish the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence, an educational facility that will be the envy of many in the technical learning arena," he added.