Oil­ing the wheels for De­fender’s suc­ces­sor

The Observer - - BUSINESS -

Where else to launch the plans for a new ve­hi­cle than in the pub? Chem­i­cals group Ineos will re­veal some de­tails be­hind a new rugged, of­froad ve­hi­cle to suc­ceed the Land Rover De­fender this week at a morn­ing event in The Gre­nadier pub in Bel­gravia.

Pro­jekt Gre­nadier is the name given to the new project run by Ineos Au­to­mo­tive, a divi­sion of the com­pany founded by bil­lion­aire Jim Rat­cliffe, who is a long-time ad­mirer of the De­fender, which ceased pro­duc­tion last year.

The com­pany has al­ready had to in­sist that the plan to build the new ve­hi­cle is not a van­ity project by Rat­cliffe and in­stead a busi­ness op­por­tu­nity to ap­peal to the mar­kets who would have bought the dis­con­tin­ued ve­hi­cle, such as farm­ers, foresters, ex­plor­ers and en­thu­si­asts.

The man­u­fac­tur­ers want to sell the 4x4 for less than £50,000, man­u­fac­ture it in the UK and have the first cars po­ten­tially avail­able from 2020.

De­tails of the new mo­tor will be re­vealed on Tues­day in the pub, where the idea “was dreamed up”. And should the au­di­ence need any li­ba­tions to start the morn­ing, the bar will open at 10.15am, in­vi­tees have been told.

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