An admirer of the Landrover Defender, Mr Ratcliffe is hopeful plans for its replacement, entitled Projekt Grenadier, can move ahead.
In a letter to Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald, Mr Ratcliffe stated: “In terms of likely UK sites we do have a preference for the eastern seaboard with good port access and the availability of a skilled workforce and the Grangemouth area, along with other areas south of the border, would meet that criteria.”
Mr MacDonald welcomed the news Mr Ratcliffe was still keeping his options open when it came to siting the factory to create his “uncompromising successor” to the Defender.
The SNP MSP said: “I am pleased to hear Grangemouth is still one of a number of sites in contention for this project. Clearly Grangemouth’s location, reputation for highly skilled workers and links to current industry make it an attractive prospect for business. However, we will await the decision being made.
“It is also welcome to hear a range of options are being explored in how the new 4x4 is to be powered. With growing demand for electric and hybrid vehicles as we move toward a more environmentally friendly and sustainable transport strategy, it is good to see an acknowledgement this will also be taken into consideration for the development of this new vehicle.”