1. ITV Report

Ineos set to announce to build 4x4 vehicle in Bridgend

It is thought chairman Jim Ratcliffe is close to signing the deal Credit: PA Images

Ineos Automative are to build a new 4x4 vehicle in Bridgend, ITV Wales understands.

It is understood chairman Jim Ratcliffe, is close to signing the deal to build the vehicle in the town, near to where Ford is closing its factory.

More details are expected on Wednesday - but it could be welcome news for the town following the announcement that Ford is to close its plant next year.

The Financial Times the decision for Ineos to enter carmaking is "an ambitious move" into a competitive industry in which it has no experience.

The site is thought to be next to the Ford factory which announced its closure earlier this year Credit: PA Images
  • Analysis by Brexit Correspondent Carole Green:

The multi million pound investment by Ineos if confirmed tomorrow will be a welcome boost as the nearby Bridgend Ford Engine plant prepares for closure.

It’s represents an opportunity for the Welsh supply chain as the car industry faces unprecedented challenges - moving to new electric technologies against the backdrop of job losses and Brexit uncertainty around tariffs.

However, hundreds of jobs whilst welcome, will not match the 1,700 lost as Ford pulls out. The first Ford line closures begin in February - the Ineos Plant will not be operational until 2022. That time lag may prove to be too long for skilled workers looking for new roles locally with the new investor.

It’s understood Ineos will have two plants to supply the Grenadier off road 4x4 utility vehicle - one in Wales and one in Europe with the engines bought in. It’s designed to compete with Landrover’s new style Defender.

It’s likely the company will have been given financial encouragement by the UK & Welsh Governments - the question is how much and on what basis.

Meanwhile the Ford Taskforce work stream leads will meet tomorrow. They will update the chairman on any progress made to soften the blow of the closure on workers and the local economy.