Drivers will be able to pre-order the new Ineos Automotive Grenadier 4X4 – billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s vision for a Land Rover Defender replacement – from tomorrow with prices set to start from around £48,000.
The UK firm, which will produce the off-road vehicle at an ex-Daimler factory in France close to the German border – has also given first details of its flexible sales and servicing network for the rufty-tufty SUV.
Bosses at Ineos Automotive – the motor firm owned by the British petro-chemical tycoon – said online reservations for Grenadier open from 30 September in what it dubbed an ‘early hand-raiser’ for prospective customers to ‘express a strong interest’ in being among the first to buy the utilitarian 4X4 when it arrives next July.
Grenadier order books to open tomorrow: Bosses said online reservations open from 30 September as an ‘early hand-raiser’ for prospective customers who want to ‘express a strong interest’ in being among the first to buy the utilitarian 4X4 when it arrives next July
From 14 October order books will open up for ‘all other interested buyers’, the all-new car manufacturer said.
Commercial director Mark Tennant and head of UK operations Gary Pearson set out the plans for sales, support and servicing – including an agency deal with German specialists Bosch.
They said Ineos will launch in UK with around 23 retail outlets offering transparent pricing, hassle-free shopping, and practical retail outlets – including with non-traditional retailers such as rural tractor firms.
Agreements have already been signed with Compass Tractors in Bridgwater, Somerset; JT Hughes in Telford; and Cambria Automobiles in locations still to be confirmed.
They added: ‘Hand-picked Bosch Car Service workshops will provide additional service coverage.’
That includes Alnwick in rural Northumberland, close to Alnwick Castle and the family seat of the Duke of Northumberland, which featured in the Harry Potter movies.
Ineos Automotive’s aim is to produce a low-cost, no-nonsense off-road vehicle aimed at farmers. However, starting at £48,000 for the passenger version mean prices are still pretty steep
Grenadier is currently undergoing its final stages of testing before it goes into production at a former Daimler plant on the French-German border next year
There will also be a ‘flying spanner’ service to get parts and repair teams to customers in even remoter locations.
But customers will also have access to digital 3D instruction manuals so that owners who like ‘tinkering’ – as it believes many of its buyers do – can also do their own thing: ‘Enthusiasts, modifiers and those who wish to work on their own vehicles will benefit from specialist technical support from Ineos HQ, and will have access to online interactive 3D workshop manuals and parts catalogues.’
Beyond UK shores, agreements also signed with first retail partners in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Middle East.
Partners in major European markets will be signed up soon, they added.
Overall, Ineos is targeting 200 sales and service points for the launch of the Grenadier 4X4 next summer.
First deliveries of the Ineos Grenadier will start from July 2022 after the British brand confirmed earlier this year that production had been pushed back due to ‘unavoidable delays’
Step inside Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s new 4X4: This is what the interior of the forthcoming Ineos Grenadier off-roader will look like
Drain plugs in the rubber flooring, wipe-down upholstery and water-resistant Recaro seats mean the lower part of the interior can be hosed out – but owners can’t get carried away with a pressure washer as many of the controls are only splash resistant
Customers will be given the choice of buying online, face-to-face, or a blend of the two, they said: ‘A strong physical presence will be matched by powerful digital services to give customers the buying experience they want and the aftersales support they need.’
Ineos said it is selecting retail partners that share its ‘service-first attitude’ and commitment to customer needs and preferences.
Regarding the tie-up with Bosch for after-sales servicing, the brand said: ‘We have worked with Bosch over the last three years to develop a first-class global aftersales blueprint. Servicing will be provided by retail partners and by hand-picked Bosch Car Service sites.’
Many of the control switches are located in the ceiling to prevent them from being soaked – and to keep cluttering of buttons on the dashboard to a minimum
The steering wheel is a fairly simple two-spoke design with Grenadier etched into the bottom section and the main horn control in the wheel centre around the brand’s logo
Among the sound controls on the steering wheel is a cyclist-specific horn, which is a feature that’s been carried over from the Grenadiers being used as support vehicles for the official ‘Ineos Grenadiers’ cycling team competing in this year’s Tour de France
The firm is also looking for a tie up with German motor giant BMW which provides the 3.0-litre petrol and diesel engines (linked to 8-speed automatic ZF gearboxes) for its range.
It added: ‘Given its strategic partnership with BMW for the Grenadier’s powertrain, Ineos is also exploring the potential to work with the BMW network for aftersales service in some markets, though mot currently in the UK.’
Grenadier will also be offered as a two- or five-seat commercial vehicle (which are exempt VAT) as well as a five-seater passenger version.
Once the network is set up, most customers will never be further than around 30 miles from an accredited workshop.
‘Owners needing support in locations further afield will have access to 10,000 Bosch Car Service outlets in 150 countries, ‘ added Ineos bosses. Where parts are not immediately available, it is targeting 24-hour delivery into major markets
Tennant added: ‘Ineos will make the buying process as convenient and painless as possible. The whole buying process – or any part of it – can be done online or face-to-face Negotiation removed from the buying process with transparent pricing. There will be simplified part-exchange and financing arrangements.
‘Customers will be able to take the Grenadier for on- and off-road test drives – sometimes for days at a time – to help them get a feel for the vehicle on their local tracks, trails or dunes.
‘Coming back muddy is encouraged.’
The new Grenadier is being built at a state of the art factory in Hambach, France, close to the German border. Much of the engineering work has been carried out by a consultancy arm of Mercedes-Benz.
There was anger when original plans to build it at a former Ford factory at Bridgend in Wales were shelved.
Ineos also has plans for a hydrogen fuel-cell powered Grenadier, thanks to a deal with Korean car firm and hydrogen specialists Hyundai.
It was confirmed last year that Ratcliffe – Britain’s fifth richest man with an estimated wealth of £12.2billion – had ditched plans to build the Grenadier at a state-of-the-art new site in Wales in favour of purchasing a French factory from Mercedes
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