British manufacturing has received a boost as Brexit-backing billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe confirmed his brand new 4×4 will be built at a plant in Wales.
Sir Jim, a joiner’s son who grew up in a council house but now leads INEOS — Britain’s biggest private company — is best known as a petrochemicals tycoon, but expressed a desire to get into the carmaking business after Jaguar Land Rover announced it would be ceasing production of its iconic Defender due to European Union emissions regulations.
Jaguar Land Rover opted to take advantage of the EU’s free movement regime to build its new version of the Defender in low-wage Slovakia, with the move out of Britain assisted by £110 million in state aid from the Slovakian government which the EU approved — much to the chagrin of British taxpayers, who transfer significant sums of money to Slovakia through their loss-making contributions to the EU budget each year.
Sir Jim’s new Grenadier 4×4 was mooted as something of a tribute to the Defender, with his INEOS Automotive subsidiary now developing a production site at Bridgend, Wales, for a planned launch in 2021.
Engineered for the world. Built in Britain.
— INEOS (@INEOS) September 18, 2019
“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,” Sir Jim said of his new project, to which he has committed £600 million in investment.
The announcement is good news for Bridgend residents, who were facing job losses as the town’s Ford plant heads for closure — a fact Remain-leaning broadcasters have been keen to highlight, although Ford itself has confirmed the plant is being closed because it is “economically unsustainable” and not because of Brexit.
In fact, Ford Europe is cutting jobs across the continent, with Germany actually set to lose more jobs than Britain despite being far more firmly embedded in the EU’s structures and firmly committed to continued EU membership.
Major broadcasters such as the BBC, Channel 4, and Sky News appeared to give these European job cuts far less prominence than the smaller British job cuts in their reporting.
“Today’s announcement from @INEOS will deliver hundreds of new jobs in Bridgend and is a vote of confidence in UK expertise, making sure we keep our status as a pioneer in new vehicle technologies." – PM @BorisJohnson https://t.co/JnSiOw5k22
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) September 18, 2019