INEOS Automotive, “a subsidiary of INEOS Group, a leading manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals, and oil products” has revealed that it is creating what could possibly be the true spiritual defender of the classic Land Rover Defender.
Although Land Rover debuted the next-generation Defender at the recent Frankfurt Motor Show, traditionalists and purists have lamented at how far removed it is from its predecessor. For one, it uses the aluminum D7 platform, which it shares with other models in the Jaguar Land Rover range, from the Jaguar XE and F-Pace to the the more upscale Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. Another complaint is that eschews the simplicity of the old-school Defender for one that’s more modern and contemporary.
Apparently, INEOS Chairman Jim Ratcliffe came up with the solution in 2017–three years before the all-new Defender came out–by identifying a gap in the market “for a stripped back, utilitarian, hard-working 4×4 engineered for modern day compliance and reliability,” which resulted in the formation of INEOS Automotive Limited.
“The Grenadier will be a truly uncompromising 4×4 built from the ground up,” INEOS Automotive said in a statement. “Engineered to overcome all conditions, it will provide best-in-class off-road capability, durability, and reliability to those who depend on a vehicle as a working tool, wherever they are in the world.”
INEOS is reportedly set to produce the INEOS Grenadier in two years’ time at a bespoke new manufacturing facility in Bridgend, South Wales in the United Kingdom, with site development supposedly underway and with production on the vehicle set to start in 2021.
“We have looked long and hard at possible manufacturing locations for Grenadier across the world with lots of good options to choose from,” said Ratcliffe. “The decision to build in the UK is a significant expression of confidence in British manufacturing, which has always been at the heart of what INEOS stands for.”
INEOS Automotive will also be investing in a sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal to produce the Grenadier’s body and chassis and will be working in conjunction with INEOS’s European supply chain partners.
“Confirming production in the UK, as well as our investment in Portugal, is a major milestone for the project,” shared INEOS Automotive Chief Executive Officer Dirk Heilmann. “We are progressing well with the design and engineering work, as well as our marketing and distribution plans. In the months ahead, we look forward to sharing more information about the Grenadier, and engaging with local suppliers, the community and region, in advance of the start of production in 2021.”
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