Ford will axe its Bridgend factory in September 2020, union sources have confirmed.
The Welsh plant, which has been manufacturing engines for 40 years, has been under threat of closure for some time.
This is in part due to falling demand for the two engines it produces, as well as low projections for the Dragon engine, which the factory was due to start making this year.
At least 1,500 jobs will be immediately affected by the shutdown, along with many more at companies in the supply chain.
Ford officials flew from the US to break the news at a meeting this morning.
Worker Tony Phillips, who has been at the plant for 31 years told Wales Online that he doesn’t know what he is going to do.
He said: ‘They said there were not going to be any plant closures. These are well-paid jobs.’
Another worker described the news as a ‘devastating blow for South Wales’, adding that there would be a lot of disappointed people ‘with big mortgages and responsibilities’ .
Jeff Beck, regional organiser at trade union GMB, said the factory’s closure is workers’ ‘worst fear confirmed’.
He continued: ‘It will mean disaster for both our members in Bridgend and the community at large, who we will stand by the tough thick and thin.
‘The ironic part is in the week that Donald Trump is meeting the UK Prime Minister and talking up a special relationship and trade deal with the UK and the US, if the plant does close, the new line is likely to be taken to Mexico by an American company.
‘So much for the special relationship Mr Trump.’
In May, Ford announced it was cutting around 7,000 white-collar jobs from its global operations as part of a major restructuring exercise, with up to 550 losses expected in the UK.
Several factors, such as the increasing electrification of cars and falling diesel sales, have forced car makers to change their business strategies.
Blame has also been placed on Brexit uncertainty, as leaving the EU without a deal could hit complex cross-border supply chains, making it less profitable to produce vehicles in the UK.
Ford has previously warned that a no-deal Brexit could be ‘catastrophic’ for the British auto industry.
The company is not alone in announcing the closure of its plants, with Honda also due to shut its Swindon plant in 2021, costing workers thousands of jobs.
Nissan also reversed a decision to build its new X-Trail vehicle at its Sunderland plant, which has a 7,000-strong workforce.
Land Rover, owned by India’s Tata Motors, announced a plan to cut 4,500 jobs in a bid to reduce costs, most of which are expected to be in the UK.
Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow secretary for business, energy and industrial strategy, said: ‘This is worrying news, first and foremost for Ford employees and their families who are left unsure as to their futures, but also for the jobs across the supply chain and the impact on the local economy in Bridgend.
‘Hot off the heels from Honda this would be another devastating blow to our car industry and to the UK’s wider manufacturing base. The Government must urgently meet with Ford to secure the plant’s future.’