Billionaire announces new manufacture plans

A billionaire businessman says he’s prepared to invest £600m to manufacture 25,000 new 4x4s, hopefully in Britain, starting in 2020.

Jim Ratcliffe, founder, chairman and chief executive of Ineos, says the vehicles will be modelled on Land Rover’s Defender, which is not trademarked in the UK.

Jaguar Land Rover has registered the design in many countries and says a trademark application in the UK is in progress. It stopped manufacture of the Defender in 2016, but has plans to build an updated version.

The Ineos chief says he’s identified various production sites in the UK, but would consider production in other countries such as Germany, where the workforce is already trained.

He said, ‘We’d have to build new in the UK so to balance that playing field because you’re talking about hundreds of millions to build a facility… it does need some government support.’