UK Jobs Boost As Ineos Aims To Rival Land Rover

Wed 18th Sep 2019

A British billionaire has given a huge boost to the UK’s ailing motor manufacturing industry by creating up to 500 jobs building a budget 4x4 in South Wales.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, owner of INEOS, one of the world’s largest chemical companies has announced that the Ineos Automotive Grenadier will be built at state-of-the-art facilities in Bridgend, South Wales. The news comes at a time when motor manufacturing jobs are at risk in the region following the forthcoming closure of the Ford engine plant.

Labelled as a no-frills, back-to-basics 4x4, the Grenadier was conceived in a Knightsbridge pub of the same name and takes its inspiration from the original Land Rover Defender.

The project is likely to see £600million of investment following a deal between Ineos and the Welsh government, with 200 jobs initially and up to 500 once the production line gets moving.

“We have looked long and hard at possible manufacturing locations for Grenadier across the world with lots of good options to choose from,” Sir Jim Ratcliffe said of the announcement.

“The decision to build in the UK is a significant expression of confidence in British manufacturing, which has always been at the heart of what Ineos stands for.”

Operations are likely to get underway in early 2020, with a sub-assembly plant also earmarked for Portugal which will create a similar number of jobs to the Bridgend site.

Though many are seeing the decision to back British as a risk in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Ineos’ corporate affairs director Tom Crotty admitted that they can cope with whatever the Brexit deal throws at them, saying:  “Our calculations show we have the ability to manage through that situation, so it's just not an issue for us. We're ignoring it.

“To be honest, you'd need a cray supercomputer to work through all the potential scenarios. We believe we can manage whatever happens.”