Grenadier plant to be relocated to EuropeJanuary 20, 2021
Ineos Automotive spoke about the relocation of the French Grenadier plant from Wales to Europe.
Ineos Automotive recently announced that it will move Grenadier production from Wales to France. At the time, Mark Tennath, the brand’s commercial director, called the move “obvious” despite 500 jobs being cut in the UK auto industry since Brexit.
Ineos originally planned to build a Grenadier plant in Wales, close to Ford’s Bridgend plant, which will soon be closed. The move would mean that Ineos would follow in the footsteps of Aston Martin, which recently opened a new plant in Saint Athan dedicated to producing the DBX.
However, Ineos is now the owner of the Mercedes plant in Hambach. It is close to the border with Germany and should allow for easier duty-free transport of vehicles, especially given the current shipping crisis between the UK and Europe following the recent Brexit trade deal.
Mercedes parent company Daimler was scheduled to close the Hambach plant later this year. The plant only manufactures Smart EQ ForTwo – and the German giant was considering a manufacturing site in China as part of a cost-cutting initiative. Now, however, the electric city car will be built with Grenadier at the same plant, and Daimler is signing a contract with Ineos to build the car.
Tom Crotty, director of public relations for Ineos, recently told BBC Radio 5 about the company’s decision to relocate the Grenadier factory to the continent.
“We wanted to build in Wales, and in the meantime we were approached by Mercedes, with whom we have built a very good relationship through Formula 1, and which had a ready-made plant on the Franco-German border available to us. It’s almost new. They were going to use it to build an SUV, they changed their business position and so we made a very simple business decision. Are we willing to take the risk and build our own factory or take a factory that Mercedes has already built and is ready to go? And it was a very simple business decision, ”said Tom Crotty.
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