Published on February 23rd, 2022 | by Subhash Nair0
Ineos Grenadier Factory In France Almost Ready To Pump Out These Reimagined Defenders
The Ineos Grenadier is a reimagined Defender that’s going to go into production in France very soon.
We’ve been covering the progress of the Ineos Grenadier for quite some time now. We first got wind of it back in 2018, and now it looks like the off-roader is ready to go into production. The Ineos Grenadier is essentially a reimagining of the classic Land Rover Defender, with the same simple and rugged chassis but with modern amenities and an emissions-compliant powertrain from BMW. The latest update comes from their Hambach plant in France, which Ineos Automotive purchased from Daimler in late 2020.
The update is that the first prototypes are already rolling off the line at the company’s French plant, with series production anticipated to begin halfway through 2022. It took a year for the company to reconfigure their new factory to build these cars and in the first phase of prototype production, 130 units were built. This first phase helps the engineering team tweak the assembly process. The 2nd phase will begin shortly to validate the assembly process and build quality. Ineos Automotive anticipates a July 2022 launch date for the Grenadier.
Over 100 sales and service partners have been nominated worldwide, with parts distribution and retail finance partners all worked out. The company says they’ve received 15,000 reservations for the Grenadier, and will release full pricing and specifications in April. It will be sold in Europe, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and North America.
When Ineos’ founder Sir Jim Ratcliffe first got the idea for this vehicle, the idea was to buy over the existing tooling of the original Defender from Jaguar and continue production under his own company. However, when it became apparent that Jaguar Land Rover wasn’t going to let that happen, he instead decided to build a homage to the original Defender instead.
The first production site that was considered was located in Bridgend, in South Wales. The original idea was to have the car build there with some parts coming from another factory in Portugal. The Welsh plant was an old Ford production site. However, the company then got an offer to buy a much more modernised factory in Hambach, France from Mercedes-Benz. With the French plant requiring fewer upgrades, Ineos Automotive found that it made for financial sense to go with that option instead, though the company had to invest an additional 50 million euros into the plant to retool it and to hire staff for the site. Hambach also has a new high-tech quality assessment centre, which will be necessary as the Grenadier is anticipated to cost as much as a new Land Rover Defender.