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Ineos finds home for Grenadier production
Ineos acquires former Mercedes-Benz manufacturing facility to build Grenadier 4x4
9 Dec 2020
FOLLOWING months of searching, Ineos Automotive has confirmed it has found a home for the production of its upcoming Grenadier 4x4, with the brand to acquire the manufacturing facility in Hambach, France currently used by Mercedes-Benz.
For months, Ineos has been looking for a production facility to build the Grenadier, after its original plan to build the Grenadier chassis in Portugal followed by assembly in Wales fell through.
The Hambach facility, located near the German border, is currently used by Mercedes to build Smart cars, and under the terms of the acquisition, Ineos will continue to produce the Smart EQ ForTwo and certain components for Mercedes.
Ineos is touting Hambach as an ‘ideal’ factory for Grenadier production, due to its modernity, quality control and a recent investment enabling the plant to produce larger vehicles.
Its location also makes it well-placed for supply chains and the procurement of automotive talent.
Ineos Group chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said the Hambach plant provided the perfect opportunity for the brand.
“Hambach presented us with a unique opportunity that we simply could not ignore: to buy a modern automotive manufacturing facility with a world-class workforce,” he said.
“Ineos Automotive set out a vision to build the world’s best utilitarian 4x4, and at our new home in Hambach, we will do just that.”
Ineos Automotive chairman Dirk Heilmann said the acquisition of the new factory would keep the new brand on track for its first deliveries of the Grenadier in around 12 months’ time.
“This acquisition marks our biggest milestone yet in the development of the Grenadier,” he said.
“Alongside the exhaustive testing programme that our prototype vehicles are now undergoing, we can now begin preparations at Hambach to build our 4x4 from late next year for delivery to our customers around the globe.”
Around 1300 jobs will be available at the Hambach factory, when combining the Ineos and Mercedes operations.
The Grenadier is a nod to old-school off-road 4x4s such as the Toyota LandCruiser 70 Series and previous-generation Land Rover Defender, the latter of which has served as the Grenadier’s primary inspiration.
Slated for a launch in Australia, it will be offered with the choice of BMW-sourced turbocharged petrol and diesel six-cylinder powertrains, and underpinned by a ladder-frame chassis and solid axles front and rear.
A recent partnership was also announced with Hyundai to explore the possibility of a fuel-cell electric powertrain, to help future-proof the Grenadier against the UK government’s recently announced plans to ban the sale of petrol and diesel-powered new vehicles by 2030.
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