Something Doesn’t Feel Quite Right About The INEOS Automotive Grenadier 4×4
INEOS Automotive is a new startup company founded by multi-billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe is anything but a failure, he wasn’t born with a silver spoon in his mouth. All he had was a good brain, education, and graft. This elevated Ratcliffe to amass a personal fortune of £21bn through his Petro-chemical firm INEOS, making him the richest person in the UK. That bit we get, it’s a great personal success story.
INEOS Automotive has confirmed that it will build what it refers to as a 4×4 “utilitarian” vehicle in Wales, England. The INEOS built Grenadier 4×4 will use BMW 6-cylinder engines. We think it will echo the styling of the first generation Land Rover Defender. All sounds good on paper, but with production planned for 2021, all we have seen so far is a public statement of intent.
INEOS Automotive has uploaded promotional corporate videos to the web that superficially reveal the technical details and a few test mules. But there is no substantive end product. No preview concept. It all seems a little bit TVR Griffith to us. However INEOS Automotive has £600m GBP to invest in the new production facility.
The Bridged based site will initially create 200 jobs. A total of 600 jobs will eventually be created. But there is no real time frame on when the initial 200 jobs will start. And INEOS Automotive better get their act together because 2021 will arrive faster than they anticipate.
We assume the INEOS 4×4 will be based on the old Land Rover Defender, perhaps the company has bought the Defender stamping tools and parts from Land Rover. We don’t know despite all the good intentions everything still seems like a mystery. Which is why it’s all very TVR.
Because Sir Jim Ratcliffe is a self-made multi-billionaire most respected media outlets are lapping up everything he utters. But INEOS Automotive doesn’t pass the DCB bullshit smell test because details are thin on the ground. All we have is a press release confirming a new production facility.
Even then the whole thing sounds strange, Ratcliffe is pro-Brexit. But INEOS Automotive has admitted to relying on a European supply chain for certain parts. It’s in their press release. If no-deal Brexit does happen then almost certainly the INEOS 4×4 is a delay waiting to happen. Delays cost money.
And then you have to factor in the tariffs the European Union will implement once Brexit does happen. An added layer of cost. In addition, INEOS Automotive is aiming their 4×4 at farmers. How many farmers are there in the UK? Farmers are also anti-Brexit.
So, if I was a farmer would I want to buy a British made 4×4 built by a billionaire who made me poor? I would tell that 4×4 to fuck off. I wouldn’t want to be associated with a vehicle that wantingly made me poorer. But the latter is admittedly a hypothetical question.
The other issue we have is, why no electric powertrain? That is the direction the automotive industry will eventually head towards. The INEOS Automotive Grenadier sounds like a retrograde step. None of this makes any sense, sounds good on paper but it’s all thin on details.
INEOS Automotive and the Grenadier sounds too good to be true, but it is true and we’ll have to wait and see what happens. But we can say with certainty is that the INEOS Grenadier is a promise waiting to happen. If it happens at all.