Jaguar Land Rover Owner Set to Build UK’s First Gigafactory

Tata, owner of Jaguar Land Rover, looks likely to accept a near $1Bn UK government handout to build the nation’s first automotive gigafactory.

The BBC reports that the Indian industrial giant is poised to build the multi-billion-dollar electric car battery plant in Somerset, with its executives expected to fly to London next week to finalize the deal. If it goes ahead, up to 9,000 jobs could be created at the Bridgwater site, close to the M5 and not far from JLR’s UK production plants in the Midlands.

Tata had considering another site in Spain and the expected decision to choose Somerset will be presented as a major achievement for the UK government. Not least because of Stellantis’s warning it may have to close UK factories if the government does not renegotiate the Brexit deal. The automaker said its plant in Ellesmere Port would not be competitive unless it had access to locally sourced automotive batteries such as those produced by a gigafactory.

While the government won’t comment on the proposed deals, experts suggest the grant could be just under $1Bn to persuade Tata to choose the UK. This would take the form of cash grants, energy subsidies and other training and research funding. Included in the deal is Tata’s extensive steel interests in the UK including the Port Talbot plant in South Wales and the government could also offer to subsidize, upgrade and decarbonize those operations.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in Europe. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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