The Welsh and UK Governments have worked in collaboration to attract a new auto manufacturer to Wales, creating up to 500 jobs on a site adjacent to the Ford plant in Bridgend.
The investment is welcomed news for the Welsh Automotive sector following recent closures at Bridgend Ford and fits with longer terms plans to create a new manufacturing cluster in the region.
INEOS Automotive will be constructing a new bespoke 250,000 sq foot manufacturing and assembly plant at the Brocastle Business Park for the production of their new 4×4 Grenadier vehicle.
This new business area, adjacent to the established Bridgend Industrial Estate, will have capacity to accommodate a further 500,000 sq ft and the potential for many more jobs for expanding companies and other new investors into Wales.
To house this impressive new facility the company is purchasing 14 acres of land from the Welsh Government at market value and with development of the site infrastructure already underway, production of the new vehicle is projected to start as early as 2021.
There will be capacity for the business and the employment to grow within the new building and on adjacent areas of the Brocastle Business Park.
INEOS Automotive are already in talks with two Wales-based component supply companies to support their work which could provide a further boost to the Welsh economy.
INEOS Group Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said:
“We have looked long and hard at possible manufacturing locations for Grenadier across the world with lots of good options to choose from. 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.”
Economy Minister Ken Skates said:
“This is a huge vote of confidence in the workforce and economy of Wales at an incredibly challenging time.
“Not only is this good news for Bridgend – and I am sure the first of many exciting announcements for the area – but it also proves that Wales remains an attractive place to invest despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty.
“Our work to support Bridgend in the wake of Ford’s proposals will not stop here and we will continue to do all we can to attract new business opportunities, to support Ford workers and to ensure an exciting future for the town.
“I am delighted to welcome INEOS Automotive to Wales and delighted that they are the latest in a line of prestigious companies to sign up to our Economic Contract, designed to drive growth and responsible business behaviours in companies. The health and wellbeing of workers is already an important part of INEOS’ ethos and this is evidenced in the Economic Contract.
“I look forward to seeing the site develop ready to begin production in 2021.”
Former first minister and AM for Bridgend commented:
“ This is good news for Bridgend and the decision shows that this part of South Wales is a good place to invest. The excellent work of Welsh Government officials has paid off and I hope that this is the start of a long and successful relationship with Ineos”
INEOS received UK Government funding as part of a competition to research and develop technologies that accelerate the transition to zero emission vehicles. The UK Government is also working with the automotive giant to provide further support towards the outcomes of that work.
Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns said:
“INEOS’ investment will provide a welcome boost to our automotive sector and to this part of Wales, creating important jobs which will contribute to a strengthened economy. It is also a clear demonstration of confidence in the UK economy.
“We’ve been working closely with the company to bring this investment to Wales and are supporting the industry via our Industrial Strategy and Automotive Sector Deal, setting out our vision of how government and industry can work together to solve some of the greatest challenges affecting this sector.
“There have been some significant automotive investments to Wales over the last few years, including at Aston Martin in St Athan and together with the Welsh Government we will continue to provide incentives for firms like INEOS to make Wales their home.”
Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:
“INEOS’s investment in Bridgend is a vote of confidence in the area’s highly skilled and talented workforce, and in the strength of our automotive industry.
“It is also further evidence that the UK is the best place to develop the latest automotive technologies. That is why the UK Government is investing nearly £1.5billion through our modern Industrial Strategy to ensure our world-leading status is maintained.”
Ian Price, CBI Wales Director, said:
“Today’s announcement from Ineos will give a real shot in the arm to Bridgend and the wider automotive sector in Wales.
“The recent news of Ford’s planned closure came as a real blow to the local economy so we’re hopeful that today can mark the start of a new era for Welsh manufacturing and give the highly-skilled workforce in Bridgend greater security for the future.
“It’s also great to see the Welsh and UK Government’s working together to attract much needed investment to this part of the country.”
About INEOS Grenadier
In 2017, INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe, a car enthusiast and experienced adventurer, identified a gap in the market for a stripped back, utilitarian, hard-working 4×4 engineered for modern day compliance and reliability. INEOS Automotive Limited was formed and a senior team of automotive professionals assembled to bring the vision to reality with a fresh perspective of 4×4 development and manufacturing.
Combining rugged British spirit with German engineering rigour, the Grenadier will be a truly uncompromising 4×4 built from the ground up. Engineered to overcome all conditions, it will provide best-in-class off-road capability, durability and reliability to those who depend on a vehicle as a working tool, wherever they are in the world.
On the engineering front, we are now moving into series development, with announcements on appointed suppliers and partners to be made in the coming months. INEOS Grenadier will go into production in 2021 in a new purpose-built manufacturing facility in Bridgend, Wales.
INEOS Automotive is a subsidiary of INEOS Group (www.ineos.com), a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products. It employs 22,000 people across 34 businesses, with a production network spanning 183 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries. From paints to plastics, textiles to technology, medicines to mobile phones, materials manufactured by INEOS enhance almost every aspect of modern life. In 2018, INEOS had sales of circa $60bn and EBITDA of around $6bn.