RE: INEOS confirms Grenadier for reveal in 2020

RE: INEOS confirms Grenadier for reveal in 2020

Tuesday 17th December 2019

INEOS partners with Magna Steyr on Grenadier

Latest deal with engineering giant pushes back-to-basics 4x4 closer to production



Progress on Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s INEOS Grenadier has taken a big step forward thanks to a new deal with Austrian firm Magna Steyr, which will add production to its list of roles in the development of the Defender-inspired 4x4. INEOS, which already has an agreement with Magna’s engineering arm for the project, will also use BMW’s 3.0 straight-six motors, meaning all pieces are now in place for the Β£30-35k model to finally reach market.

That’s at least the pledged laid out by Ratcliffe, Britain’s richest man, who said the new car would cost within β€œ10-15 per cent” of the present best-selling premium pick-up, the Ford Ranger Wildtrack. It’s intended to be a proper off-roader in the manner of Land Rover’s old Defender, which despite being succeeded has arguably left a hole in the market. Magna’s growing involvement is directly linked to this INEOS target. The company produces the Jaguar E- and I-Pace SUVs, and also the Mercedes G-Class, which shows it knows how to build tough SUVs.

β€œWe are pleased to have Magna, with their long heritage and experience in 4x4 development, with us for the next stage of the journey,” said INEOS CEO, Dirk Heilmann, before adding that the project can now β€œmove into all-important series development”. When production then begins, the final assembly of INEOS’s new Grenadier will be handled at a facility in Bridgend, South Wales, likely sometime in 2021. The same year that Land Rover completes its new Defender line-up with the 130…



Previous story: 18.09.2019

So the new Defender has finally been unveiled and, surprise surprise, it's not an old Defender. While it may be as rugged and capable and durable as the public will ever need it to be, it has also adopted the demeanour of a very modern SUV, leaving a boxy gap in the market when it comes to those for whom go-anywhere dependability isn't merely a lifestyle choice, but integral to making a living.

Enter Sir Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man. His Projekt Grenadier concept - first mooted within the walls of The Grenadier pub in Knightsbridge, hence the name - was to be founded on the same principles as the outgoing Defender, continuing its legacy even when Land Rover had laid it to rest. Spun off from his existing chemical empire, the newly formed INEOS Automotive quickly got to work realising that vision.

Today it has announced several notable steps on the path to series production. Firstly a name, decided following an online poll; secondly a home, which has now been confirmed as Bridgend, bringing some much-needed good news to the Welsh town's manufacturing industry; and finally, a plan.

We'll begin in South Wales, where construction of INEOS' new facility is already underway. It sits in the shadow of Ford's beleaguered engine plant and, while its arrival is undoubtedly good news for the area, it shouldn't be viewed as a solution to the Blue Oval's departure. Around 1,700 people will be made redundant when the Ford facility closes next year, with only 200 jobs initially being created by INEOS. That number could rise to a possible 500 if everything pans out the way the company hopes, though, providing a source of well-paid jobs to the town.

While INEOS refers to its Bridgend site as a manufacturing one, in truth is sounds as though it will be mostly dedicated to assembly; a separate facility in Portugal (also announced) will be responsible for actually producing the car's component parts. It "reflects the company's pan-European supply chain" and will employ a similar number of people to its Bridgend location, where those globally-sourced elements will be turned into completed vehicles.

One of those parts will be the car's BMW straight-six. Available in both petrol and diesel variants, it is said to be a "great canvas" on top of which INEOS will apply its own layer of tuning to end up with a reliable, torquey unit best suited to its workhorse duties. A low range 'box will be present as well, although its exact form remains unclear, as will other off-road focussed design features including a body on frame construction with a ladder chassis, beam axles and locking diffs. A one-ton payload, 3.5-ton braked trailer weight, eventual pick-up variant and the ability to be hosed out complete the utilitarian bingo card. "Taking the S out of SUV" is how INEOS describes it.


Those expecting a modern Series I should temper their expectations now, however. Present day regulations make the series production of such a car an impossibility, and have already caused the INEOS team several headaches in getting where they want to go. To that end the finished product will feature technology like a reversing camera (necessitated by US rules) and driver assist systems (set to become mandatory under EU law in 2022) as well as Bluetooth connectivity and USB ports (demanded by 21st century consumers).

The aim though is still to build a car which can "work for the world'', offering a 4x4 that will be as useful to a European farmer as it will be to an African NGO. It should be able to run on lower quality fuels, for example, and is being designed to encourage aftermarket development, allowing accessories suited to all manner of applications to be developed by third party suppliers. Reliability is an obvious focus but when the need for maintenance inevitably arrives, will you be able to fix it by the side of the road with a hammer? "A 21st century hammer" smiles INEOS Automotive CEO, Dirk Heilmann, including empowering owners to understand diagnostic fault codes on their own. "But if it doesn't break you don't have to fix it."

With Β£600 million committed to the venture so far, this is far from a pet project for Ratcliffe, the billionaire expecting to see a healthy return on his investment. Hitting the target of selling as many as 25,000 cars a year by 2023 would result in "a very profitable business" and, though it's apparently too soon to attach a specific RRP to the car, "within 10-15 per cent" of the current best-selling premium pick up on the European market has been identified as a goal. With a Ford Ranger Wildtrack starting at Β£28,795 that'd suggest a price tag slightly north of Β£30,000.


Vehicles will be sold "as directly as we are able" with a recognition that buyers will want to kick the tyres and test the new vehicle preventing an online-only approach. The sales model will vary by market, but in the UK buyers could well find themselves heading to farm machinery suppliers, or even to the factory itself, to take a look at the car. That won't be until at least 2021, though, when production is supposed to begin, with a full reveal of the car's final form not expected until October next year.

Beyond that INEOS Automotive will look to grow both the model range and its wider offerings. A pick up is in the pipeline, and the company is already working on a hydrogen fuel cell feasibility study, jointly funded by the UK government. The fuel is favoured over pure EV power thanks to the avoidance of additional battery weight - although its investment should come as no surprise when you consider that INEOS is also Europe's largest hydrogen producer...

Oh, and the name? Well, following an online contest to decide on a permanent replacement for the Grenadier placeholder, the winner was... Grenadier. Sometimes sticking with what's tried and tested is the best way forward. A sentiment INEOS is heavily banking on across the board.


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Author
Discussion

sidesauce

Original Poster:

1,422 posts

175 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
Interesting development and one that I suspect may well turn more political than about the cars judging from previous discussions on here...

fblm

17,950 posts

220 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
A stand alone mp3 player/reverse camera/bluetooth/usb screen is less than $80 on amazon! Hardly an insurmountable engineering problem.

TWPC

688 posts

118 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
Very glad to see that assembly will be taking place at Bridgend.

I'm surprised they are only using 6 cyl engines. I'd have thought the 'simple, cheaper than a Landie' ethos would have required at least the option of a 4 cyl diesel and petrol. Will they be coming at a later date?

Ares

10,020 posts

77 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
Interesting. Many small/niche businesses have tried to upset the establishment, but few with the resources and business/commercial acumen that Sir Jim has.

If the derision levied at the 'soft' new defender is even close to universal, this will be a huge hit.

anonymous-user

11 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
Never trust anyone who believes jeans, brogues, and blazer is acceptable apparel.

robemcdonald

5,164 posts

153 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
A computer render of a factory makes a nice change from a computer render of a car.

Jag_NE

2,260 posts

57 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
TWPC said:
Very glad to see that assembly will be taking place at Bridgend.

I'm surprised they are only using 6 cyl engines. I'd have thought the 'simple, cheaper than a Landie' ethos would have required at least the option of a 4 cyl diesel and petrol. Will they be coming at a later date?
I agree with your engine point. If the car is competing with cheap pick ups a 3.0d will add a lot more undesired cost vs a 2.0d. Even though bmw will be selling the engines in lower power ratings I can’t envisage how a 2.0d won’t still be sufficient for its intended market.

Bodo

10,406 posts

223 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
The Grenadier story gets even more interesting with the introduction of the Defender-SUV. What I do like with the Grenadier project is, that they don't buzz around with styling-visuals and promises, but focus only on facts and believable plans in their communication.

I've been watching their vacancies section since I took part in their online-survey: in 2018, they had quite a lot of job offers coming and going (mostly in Germany). This project seems to be indeed alive and progressing. Jim Ratcliffe's utilitarian silently lapped Les Edgar's flâneur.

janesmith1950

7,742 posts

52 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
I think when the richest man in the country starts making promises it's a bit more believable than two blokes and a lock up in Rotherham promising a supercar to challenge Ferrari.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's personally worth more than JLR.

janesmith1950

7,742 posts

52 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
I think when the richest man in the country starts making promises it's a bit more believable than two blokes and a lock up in Rotherham promising a supercar to challenge Ferrari.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's personally worth more than JLR.

Robocop2

23 posts

82 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
I wish Jim Ratcliffe well with his Grenadier project, both from a UK plc perspective and the prospect of a truly rugged 4x4 that can handle hard use in arduous conditions. Such vehicles have been a dying breed over the years, so it’s refreshing to see this attempt to introduce new competition. Although only a niche market in the UK, it will be interesting to see whether Ineos can actually make inroads into an international market dominated by Toyota etc.

I know there are many doubters but, whether or not you like Jim Ratcliffe, we should be glad that he’s making the effort.

pb8g09

538 posts

26 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
Simonium said:
Never trust anyone who believes jeans, brogues, and blazer is acceptable apparel.
What a bizarre statement!?

JxJ Jr.

522 posts

27 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
Jag_NE said:
TWPC said:
Very glad to see that assembly will be taking place at Bridgend.

I'm surprised they are only using 6 cyl engines. I'd have thought the 'simple, cheaper than a Landie' ethos would have required at least the option of a 4 cyl diesel and petrol. Will they be coming at a later date?
I agree with your engine point. If the car is competing with cheap pick ups a 3.0d will add a lot more undesired cost vs a 2.0d. Even though bmw will be selling the engines in lower power ratings I can’t envisage how a 2.0d won’t still be sufficient for its intended market.
Look beyond Europe to the middle east, North America and Australia where 6 and 8 cylinders are commonplace.

Max_Torque

15,462 posts

174 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
This is surely doomed! there are so many contradictions in their aspirations it would be funny it it wasn't real:


1) Using BMW 6 cyl engines, but "you can diagnose faults yourself" - really, have a go at that and get back to me. (they are also assuming BMW will release this proprietary info that effectively short circuits their own dealer network....)

2) Using BMW engines (high performance, finely tuned, but "will run on poor fuel" (have a go and sticking some low lubricity, hgih sulphur fuel in your 330d and get back to me on how it pans out (the answer is expensively)

3) Using BMW engines (product of several million euro worth of calibration and certification), but "the engines will run our own tune" (BMW won't warrant anything if you change the cal, and you'll have to completely re-cert the tail pipe emissions and OBD across world wide markets (which is roughly a 20 million quid job and takes 3 years)

4) Costs 10% more than a top of the range competitor, but is more basic (right, who exactly walks into a dealer and say "oh, no, i don;t want that nicely spec'd japanese pick up that does everything i want for less money. oh no, i'd like to spend 10% more on a completely unproven, less specified version that i have to fix myself after spending 10 years reading up on fault codes and buying £3k worth of diagnostic kit"

5) They'll sell 25,000 a year (LR only sold about 15k defenders on average) Without a military market, and competing against the likes of toyota and nissan who can leverage platform sharing, sorry, but no way do those numbers add up.

6) Body on frame with beam axles, but will be robust and reliable and put together by only 200 people. Have to sat in a Defender? panel gaps you can put your had through, the crashworthyness of a eggbox, and more rattles, squeaks and leaks than an, er, rattly, squeeky, colander....

7) Revealed in 2021. Hurray, 2 years till we get to see it, then what, when can we buy it. Because i'm not sure if you've noticed, but polluting, high CO2 vehicles are already looking a bit anti-social today, and EVs are taking over fast. Companies like Rivian are re-writing the rules faster than the existing OEs can pedal......

8) It's designed to encourage aftermarket development: Pull the other one mate. No OE who wants to stay in business is going to let people bolt completely untested, unproved and critically un-homologated bits to their vehicle, and even more certainly not whilst honouring the warranty..


and

9) 300 is going to have to buy one of these, it's his perfect car, and after months of claiming the new defender is sh*t, if he doesn't he's a two faced liar!

;-)



Edited by Max_Torque on Wednesday 18th September 18:56

Ares

10,020 posts

77 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
janesmith1950 said:
I think when the richest man in the country starts making promises it's a bit more believable than two blokes and a lock up in Rotherham promising a supercar to challenge Ferrari.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's personally worth more than JLR.
Sir Jim, c£12bn
JLR, c£10bn (and that was before last years £3.6bn loss.....)

Ares

10,020 posts

77 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
pb8g09 said:
Simonium said:
Never trust anyone who believes jeans, brogues, and blazer is acceptable apparel.
What a bizarre statement!?
I suspect Simonium favours socks with sandals, or a jeans that he wears half way down his arse.

Cold

9,542 posts

47 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
janesmith1950 said:
I wouldn't be surprised if he's personally worth more than JLR.
Short of going powerboat racing, starting up a car manufacturing company is a good way of changing that.

Max_Torque

15,462 posts

174 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
janesmith1950 said:
I wouldn't be surprised if he's personally worth more than JLR.
How to make a small fortune in the passenger car business? Start with a large one.

He might be rich, but he really has absolutely no idea what on earth he's doing......

InitialDave

7,010 posts

76 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
janesmith1950 said:
I think when the richest man in the country starts making promises it's a bit more believable than two blokes and a lock up in Rotherham promising a supercar to challenge Ferrari.

I wouldn't be surprised if he's personally worth more than JLR.
Not quite, I don't think. But LR on their own, possibly.

rufusgti

2,306 posts

149 months

Wednesday 18th September 2019
quotequote all
Max_Torque said:
This is surely doomed! there are so many contradictions in their aspirations it would be funny it it wasn't real:


1) Using BMW 6 cyl engines, but "you can diagnose faults yourself" - really, have a go at that and get back to me. (they are also assuming BMW will release this proprietary info that effectively short circuits their own dealer network....)

2) Using BMW engines (high performance, finely tuned, but "will run on poor fuel" (have a go and sticking some low lubricity, hgih sulphur fuel in your 330d and get back to me on how it pans out (the answer is expensively)

3) Using BMW engines (product of several million euro worth of calibration and certification), but "the engines will run our own tune" (BMW won't warrant anything if you change the cal, and you'll have to completely re-cert the tail pipe emissions and OBD across world wide markets (which is roughly a 20 million quid job and takes 3 years)

4) Costs 10% more than a top of the range competitor, but is more basic (right, who exactly walks into a dealer and say "oh, no, i don;t want that nicely spec'd japanese pick up that does everything i want for less money. oh no, i'd like to spend 10% more on a completely unproven, less specified version that i have to fix myself after spending 10 years reading up on fault codes and buying £3k worth of diagnostic kit"

5) They'll sell 25,000 a year (LR only sold about 15k defenders on average) Without a military market, and competing against the likes of toyota and nissan who can leverage platform sharing, sorry, but no way do those numbers add up.

6) Body on frame with beam axles, but will be robust and reliable and put together by only 200 people. Have to sat in a Defender? panel gaps you can put your had through, the crashworthyness of a eggbox, and more rattles, squeaks and leaks than an, er, rattly, squeeky, colander....

7) Revealed in 2021. Hurray, 2 years till we get to see it, then what, when can we buy it. Because i'm not sure if you've noticed, but polluting, high CO2 vehicles are already looking a bit anti-social today, and EVs are taking over fast. Companies like Rivian are re-writing the rules faster than the existing OEs can pedal......


and

8) 300 is going to have to buy one of these, it's his perfect car, and after months of claiming the new defender is sh*t, if he doesn't he's a two faced liar!

;-)
Glass half empty is it mate?

How is it you know all the ins and outs of their dealings with BMW?