Brexit Boom: Aston Sales Clear £1bn, INEOS Opens New Plant, and More

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While anti-Brexiteers have been at pains to emphasise the potential risks of a No Deal exit from the European Union and draw tenuous links between the global downturn in diesel car sales and Britain’s pending departure from the bloc in recent weeks, British industry has been enjoying a series of important but little-reported success stories.

Aston Martin, for example, has reported annual revenues exceeding £1 billion for the first time, with sales jumping by 26 percent on the previous year to some 6,441 vehicles — positive news which has received much less coverage than Porsche’s recent threat that the rich may have to pay more for foreign-built luxury cars in the event of a No Deal Brexit, for example.

Aston has also showcased its new DBS SUV at the British prime minister’s official residence at 10 Downing Street for St David’s Day — as the vehicle will be built in the Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, where St David is patron saint, supporting 700 skilled jobs.

“2018 was an outstanding year for Aston Martin Lagonda, delivering strong growth, with improving revenues, unit sales and adjusted profits,” commented chief executive Andy Palmer — who later remarked that a mooted delay to Brexit would only cause “further annoyance” by tying up contingency stock and working capital and “creating continued uncertainty”.

Northern England has also had some good news, as chemicals giant INEOS — led by Brexit-supporting entrepreneur Sir Jim Ratcliffe — announced a new £150 million facility at its Saltend Chemicals Park in  Hull, doubling the size of the company’s current workforce.

“This is an exciting time for INEOS and great news for manufacturing in the region,” commented INEOS Oxide’s Graham Beesley, who said the move would “not only strengthen UK manufacturing but boost exports from the UK to Europe and the rest of the world.”

The company’s Hull expansion comes as part of a broader £1 billion investment in the United Kingdom, the lion’s share of which will be used to overhaul the Forties Pipeline System serving the North Sea oil and gas industry, and establish a new onshore steam and power plant in Grangemouth, Scotland.

The commercial vehicle manufacturing sector has also enjoyed a month of quiet triumph — largely swept under the carpet, in comparison to the breathless coverage of the difficulties diesel car-makers are experiencing — with output growing by a whopping 49.1 percent in January 2019 as close to 10,000 buses, coaches, lorries, and vans rolled off the production lines, with 56.3 percent of them destined for overseas markets.

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