INEOS is gearing up to build Grenadiers for customers this summer, potentially filling the gaping whole of the market left by the demise of the original Defender.
Hopes that the Grenadier would be built in Wales were dashed when INEOS bought a factory in Germany from Mercedes at the end of 2020. The Hambach factory reportedly received 470 million euros of investment from Mercedes in 2019, and INEOS has spent an additional 50 million euros to equip the production lines. for the Grenadier.
First prototypes in “estate” and “utility wagon” format
130 initial prototypes are being built, called “first production run” (PTO1). These will be used for final testing and certification, and will be followed in March by another series of prototypes (PTO2) to validate the assembly process and build quality.
Production-ready vehicles will appear in July.
15,000 Grenadiers have already been reserved, more than the number of original Defenders built in a typical year during the model’s twilight period. Customers in the UK, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East will be able to complete their orders from April, online or through their local retailer. (US customers will have to wait until later in the year.) Buyers will be served by INEOS’ network of sales and service companies – more than 100 of them around the world.
INEOS promises the Grenadier will have “best in class off-road capability, durability and reliability”. Prices should start around £48,000.
Have you ever wondered what a Defender body would look like if it was made using modern methods?
A few facts about ads
Likely coincidentally, April (when orders open) and July (when full production begins) exactly mirror the months in which the first Series I Land Rovers were launched. Orders poured in when the prototypes were unveiled at the Amsterdam Motor Show in April 1948, and the first production Land Rover (chassis 860001, reg JUE 477) was completed in July this summer.
Solihull built 1500 Land Rovers between then and Christmas. Presumably INEOS is expecting to build quite a bit more than that…
Solihull didn’t bother to paint the inner fenders either…