India-based conglomerate Tata said Wednesday it will build a £4 billion ($5.2 billion) battery factory in western England. This is a promise demanded by the auto industry and lawmakers who want to quell concerns about the exodus of carmakers from the UK. .
Tata owns UK-based carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, and its factories in the UK will be important customers for its batteries. The government said the factory could create 4,000 jobs and eventually produce almost half of the electric car batteries Britain needs by 2030.
The announcement was made possible by a large subsidy provided by the Government of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. This comes as fears have risen in recent weeks that Britain’s car industry will be devastated by the move to electric vehicles, as well as its exit from the European Union, the main export market for British-made cars. It happened while it was rising.
Having a major domestic battery maker means automakers no longer need to import batteries and face high EU tariffs and equipment shipping costs. So far, the only other UK battery facility has been associated with Nissan’s largest car factory in the northeast of England.
Tata was recently reported to be considering building a battery plant in Spain, but such a move would hurt Jaguar Land Rover vehicles built in the UK. The final choice is likely to be Somerset in the West of England.
Mr. Sunak has come up with a proposal to ease his fears of losing the nation’s largest automaker. Britain’s energy and security secretary, Grant Shaps, told the BBC that the deal was “hard-won”. He declined to say how much aid or subsidies Tata has received. The government said it would release the details “in due course.”
In a news release issued by the British government, Tata chairman Natarajan Chandrasekaran said, “We would like to thank Her Majesty’s government for working closely with us to make this investment possible.”
Jaguar Land Rover made about 203,000 vehicles in the UK last year, making it the country’s second-largest automaker after Nissan, according to figures from the Automobile Manufacturers and Trade Association. Overall, the number of cars produced in the UK plummeted from a peak of over 1.7 million in 2016 to 775,000 last year.
In a race for battery makers to back car makers, Britain is competing with the United States and the European Union, which provide heavy subsidies to battery makers.
UK car manufacturing has been in decline since 2016, coinciding with the Brexit vote, but remains important to the economy, employing 182,000 people, according to the Automobile Manufacturers Trade Association. there is Eight of his 10 cars made in the UK are exported, with nearly 60% of them going to his EU.
Tata has already invested heavily in various UK businesses. Alongside Jaguar Land Rover, the company also has a large steel business, including a large factory in Wales. The company is in talks with the government for financial assistance to convert the plant’s operations to low carbon steel production.
Chandrasekaran said in a statement that Tata’s decision to invest in the battery plant “reinforces its commitment to the UK”.