Chemical company Ineos is reportedly in talks with Ford Motor Company to potentially build a Land Rover Defender rival at the automaker’s engine plant in Wales.
The Financial Times first reported the news, citing that Ineos is seriously wanting to enter the automotive sector. The company’s first planned product is a Land Rover Defender rival with styling similar to the Land Rover.
Ford’s engine plant in question currently produces–ironically–engines for Jaguar Land Rover. Ford sold Jaguar Land Rover to Tata Motors back in 2008, but has continued to produce engines for the luxury auto brands. Tata has already stated the company plans to stop sourcing engines from the Ford plant in 2020, leaving some obvious space to produce something else.
Ineos has not confirmed or denied their ongoing discussions with Ford. The company has simply stated they have “several great options” when it comes to producing their planned SUV. Automotive News reports they plan to make a decision by the end of the year.
Britain’s exit from the European Union is also a top-of-mind issue for Ford and other automakers with plants in the country. Brexit could ultimately lead to additional tariffs and customs checks between Britain and other EU nations, leaving some automakers ready to bail on British production.