UK to Unveil Battery Plant Strategy in Bid to Retain Carmakers

(Bloomberg) -- The UK is poised to unveil plans to boost green manufacturing, just as it seeks to lure investment in a new battery plant from Jaguar Land Rover parent Tata Group.

The government’s “Advanced Manufacturing Plan” will form part of the UK response to US President Joe Biden’s $369 billion package of green subsidies and tax credits, three people familiar with the plan said. Ministers including Energy Secretary Grant Shapps have expressed concerns that the American plan — and the European Union response to it — risked triggering protectionism.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government is seeking to address the danger to Britain’s green industries posed by business incentives abroad which threaten to draw investment away from the UK as it gets squeezed between two larger economic powers.

Tata’s decision will provide an early test of post-Brexit Britain’s ability to attract flagship investments. The Indian conglomerate is nearing a decision to pick Spain or the UK for a battery plant that will supply Jaguar — a British automaker. But one UK official said there are concerns Spain will win out, and an industry official said Spanish authorities are convinced they’ve clinched the investment, while cautioning that nothing is set in stone.