Ineos automotive are considering building their new car in France and not in Bridgend, Wales and Portugal.
Sir Jim Ratcliff’s company are in talks with Mercedes-Benz to acquire their factory at the Hambach site in Moselle, France.
Ineos automotive were due to start production of their new 4X4 Grenadier vehicle in Bridgend in 2021.
Ford are closing its engine plant in Bridgend which will see the loss of 1,700 jobs, and the factory were expected to create up to 500 jobs.
Ratcliffe’s company said the French factory has a dedicated SUV production line, which is “ideally suited” to the needs of the new Grenadier 4X4.
Ineos are “assessing the option to utilise existing capacity within the industry, as an alternative to building its own plants.”
The covers are off.
It’s function over form. Boxy and straightforward. A true utilitarian 4X4.
— INEOS Grenadier (@INEOSGrenadier) July 1, 2020
Dirk Heilmann, chief executive of Ineos Automotive said, “Of course we considered this route previously, but as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic some new options such as this one with the plant in Hambach have opened up that were simply not available to us previously.
“We are therefore having another look – and reviewing whether the addition of two new manufacturing facilities is the right thing to do in the current environment.”
The company said, “We have therefore suspended the post-lockdown resumption of work at our sites in Wales and Portugal pending the outcome of this review.”
Welsh health minister Vaughan Gething said, “If they do go ahead and decide not to make that investment then that would be a really significant step backwards for Bridgend and a very difficult day for people looking to their future.”