Published on December 9th, 2020 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
INEOS Land Rover Defender Production To Start
Called the Grenadier, its sales will start in 2022
Fans of the classic Land Rover Defender will be happy to read this news. It is now confirmed that the classic Defender will be reborn with its iconic design intact and with modern engineering and safety features included. In early 2017, British petrochemical billionaire, Jim Ratcliffe confirmed his plan to start production of a modern Defender with its iconic design.
By late 2018, Dirk Heilmann, CEO of INEOS Automotive and leader of Projekt Grenadier, commented, “INEOS is not intending to resurrect the Land Rover Defender. We are building an all-new 4×4 vehicle from the ground up, which meets all current safety and legislative requirements. It will be a robust, no-nonsense utility vehicle, with an emphasis on reliability, durability and peerless off-road capability. It will have its own name, more angles than curves, and have a wheel at each corner. It will not be a Defender”.
PRESS RELEASE: The former Mercedes-Benz site in Hambach will manufacture INEOS’s uncompromising 4×4, the Grenadier. Hambach is a state-of-the-art facility with a highly skilled workforce and is well located for access to markets, suppliers, and automotive talent
The site currently builds smart EQ fortwo electric vehicles, which INEOS will continue to produce alongside the Grenadier on a contract manufacturing basis
Hambach is the ideal facility for production of the Grenadier. One of Europe’s most modern automotive manufacturing sites, it is home to a highly experienced and capable workforce, has an excellent track record amongst Mercedes plants for the quality of its output, and recently benefited from a major investment to enable the production of larger vehicles.
Additionally, the site’s location on the French-German border, only 200km from Stuttgart, gives excellent access to supply chains, automotive talent and target markets.
Manufacturing at Hambach ensures that INEOS remains on track to meet its plans to deliver the Grenadier to customers in early 2022.
Under the terms of the acquisition, Mercedes-Benz will contract INEOS to continue to produce the smart EQ fortwo and some Mercedes-Benz components at Hambach. When combined with INEOS’s plans for the Grenadier, this translates into some 1,300 jobs at Hambach, including commitments to onsite suppliers.
Built from the ground up on an all-new platform, the Grenadier has been designed to meet the demands of its future owners for a rugged, capable and comfortable go-anywhere working vehicle.
“The brief was simple. We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4×4 vehicle with utility at its core”, said Toby Ecuyer, head of design. “A design that is ‘easy-to-read’, with no ambiguity about the Grenadier’s role in life. There to do everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Nothing is for show. Modern engineering and production techniques ensure the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been able to stay true to the essence of creating a utilitarian vehicle that will stand the test of time”.
Dirk Heilmann, INEOS Automotive’s CEO, added: “We are delighted to be able to share the design of the Grenadier so early in the process. Most manufacturers would hold back, but we are a new business, building a new brand, and we want to take people with us on this exciting journey.
“Showing the design now allows us to focus on the critical next phase of the vehicle’s development, testing its capability and durability. We have a very challenging programme ahead, as we put prototypes through their paces in all conditions, on the way to accumulating some 1.8 million test kilometres over the coming year. From today the covers are off. Testing ‘in plain sight’ without the need for camouflage wrapping, foam blocks or fake panels is an added benefit.”