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Tue Dec 8, 2020, 08:29 PM

Ineos boss opts to build 'British' heir to Land Rover Defender in France

Brexit in a nutshell: rich guy advocates Brexit, says he'll set up a factory in Britain, notices that Brexit has screwed that, builds it in the heart of the EU instead. And takes the profits offshore.

Billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe has chosen to build a “British” 4x4 inspired by the Land Rover Defender in France, rather than Bridgend in Wales.

Ratcliffe, who has built up an estimated £12.15bn fortune from petrochemicals company Ineos, announced on Tuesday that the Ineos Grenadier vehicle will be built at the former Smart factory in Hambach, close to the French-German border. The deal will “safeguard” 1,300 jobs at the factory, but dash hopes for an automotive revival in south Wales.

Ratcliffe, a vocal Brexit supporter who recently left the UK for tax-free Monaco, said Hambach had presented the company with “a unique opportunity that we simply could not ignore”.

He said that in Hambach, Ineos was buying “a modern automotive manufacturing facility with a world-class workforce”.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/dec/08/ineos-boss-opts-to-build-british-heir-to-land-rover-defender-in-france

He'd already selected German engineers to design it.

Under the deal, Ineos will also build Daimler's Smart EQ electric car at the Hambach site and supply parts for Mercedes Benz, as well as producing the Grenadier, inspired by the Land Rover Defender.

In a statement, Ineos Automotive said: "The site's location on the French-German border, only 200km from Stuttgart, gives excellent access to supply chains, automotive talent and target markets."
...
The decision is the second major blow for Bridgend, as the factory would have stood beside the now-closed Ford engine plant. Ford shut the plant in September after 40 years, with the loss of nearly 1,700 jobs.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55236852

In other news of Brexit screwing the British economy:

Cost of goods 'set to rise' from shipping mayhem

...
The stockpiling of goods ahead of the end of the Brexit transition period is making matters worse.

Major shipping companies including Marseille-based CMA-CGM have told UK importers no more bookings can be made for ships sailing from Asia until the last week of December.

The Japanese carmaker Honda said delays at UK ports are holding up imports of parts and production will temporarily cease at its Swindon plant from Wednesday.
...
The letter to the Transport Secretary also warns the government about further potential disruption when the Brexit transition period ends in January.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55237791

Brexit: Toyota says no-deal outcome will be 'very negative'

The boss of Toyota's European business has warned that a no-deal Brexit could make its UK plants uncompetitive.

Dr Johan van Zyl said such an outcome would create a "very negative investment environment" in Britain and be "very, very negative" for his business.
...
Toyota has two plants in the UK, which employ about 3,000 people in total.

But Mr van Zyl said no decisions on the future of its UK plants - a car factory at Burnaston in Derbyshire and an engine facility at Deeside in North Wales - could be taken until the outcome of trade talks was known.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55220840

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