Ineos Move To France Confirmed

Thu 10th Dec 2020

The forthcoming Land Rover Defender look-a-like will be built in France after the company behind the vehicle, Ineos Automotive,  announced that they had done a deal with Daimler which will see the 4x4 manufactured at the former Mercedes-Benz factory in Hambach.

The news comes as a final nail in the coffin for a proposed facility in Bridgend, South Wales, which it was hoped would bring much needed jobs to the UK.

The move completes a u-turn for Ineos, they had previously promised that a brand-new facility would be built in Wales, creating up to 500 jobs. But in the summer of this year, they hinted at changes brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and this week’s announcement confirms that the body and chassis will be built in Portugal before production is completed at the Hambach, creating around 1,300 jobs.

“Hambach presented us with a unique opportunity that we simply could not ignore: to buy a modern automotive manufacturing facility with a world-class workforce,” said Sir Jim Ratcliffe. “Ineos Automotive set out a vision to build the world’s best utilitarian 4x4 and at our new home in Hambach we will do just that.”

Unsurprisingly the move has been condemned by the Bridgend MP, Chris Elmore, who has suggested that Brexit and not the pandemic played a big part. Particularly as Ratcliffe was a major supporter of Brexit.

“The highly skilled and dedicated workforce in Ogmore, Bridgend, and surrounding areas would have risen to the challenge. Today’s news is a hammer blow,” Elmore said on Twitter.

“That Brexit is clearly a major factor at play is a bitter pill to swallow. Ineos owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe was a vocal Brexiteer, loudly proclaiming the benefits of leaving the EU. Today, we can see his claims are as hollow as his promises.”