Ineos to build vehicles in Wales

24 September 2019

Ineos to build vehicles in Wales

24 September 2019

Ineos Automotive is to build its first 4×4 model in a new, bespoke factory in Bridgend, Wales.

The production facility will be created on a greenfield site in Bridgend and will create 200 jobs initially, and up to 500 in the long term. Site development is now underway to support the planned start of production in 2021, the company says.

Skill offering

The move to build in Bridgend could be seen as an opportunity to take advantage of available skilled workers who will be available after autumn 2020 when Ford closes its engine-manufacturing site in the town. The engine facility was expected to win a contract to supply Ineos. However, the new carmaker chose to forge an agreement with BMW.

The first car to come off the production line at Bridgend will be the Grenadier, named after a pub. The name of the car was decided by way of an online poll.

′We have looked long and hard at possible manufacturing locations for Grenadier across the world with lots of good options to choose from,' said Ineos Group Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe. ′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.'

Welsh Government Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates adds: 'This announcement is great news for Wales and I'm delighted Ineos Automotive will be setting up home in Bridgend which has a long history of skilled manufacturing expertise. The Welsh Government has worked closely with the company to make this happen, and I look forward to seeing the development of the new site progress ahead of the planned start of production in 2021.'

European assembly

Ineos Automotive has also confirmed that in parallel, it will be investing in a sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal. The facility will produce the Grenadier's body and chassis, working in conjunction with the company's European supply chain partners.

The vehicle will be a 4×4, which is completely new from the ground up with an all-new architecture inspired by off-road classics such as the Willys Jeep, Series 1 Land Rover and J40 Toyota Land Cruiser. Ineos plans to sell the vehicle globally, building between 25,000-30,000 units of the vehicle annually. The SUV will target drivers of high-spec double-cab pickups.

′We are progressing well with the design and engineering work, as well as our marketing and distribution plans,' concludes Dirk Heilmann, Ineos Automotive CEO. ′In the months ahead, we look forward to sharing more information about the Grenadier, and engaging with local suppliers, the community and region, in advance of the start of production in 2021.'