Ineos confirms purchase of Smart factory, Grenadier production starts late 2021

Ineos has a factory locked in and can get ready to begin production of its rugged, old Defender-inspired Grenadier four-wheel drive.

Comments
Previous News
Uber quits autonomous vehicle development after years of scandal
Uber quits autonomous vehicle development after years of scandal
William Stopford
William Stopford
Journalist
Published

It’s official: Daimler’s Hambach factory will make titchy little Smarts alongside burly Ineos Grenadiers.

Ineos has confirmed it’s purchased the French factory from Daimler, corporate parent of Mercedes-Benz.

It will still, however, manufacture Smart ForTwo models on a contract basis. It’ll also manufacture some Mercedes-Benz components.

Grenadier production is scheduled to start in late 2021 at the factory, which is close to the German border. It’s a far cry from the location originally planned: Ineos was initially promising to employ 500 people in Bridgeng, UK.

“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,” said Ineos Group chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

“Ineos Automotive set out a vision to build the world’s best utilitarian 4×4, and at our new home in Hambach, we will do just that.”

The Hambach factory, dubbed Smartville, currently employs around 1000 people with a further 600 working for suppliers.

Combining both Ineos’ and Mercedes’ plans for Hambach translates into some 1300 additional jobs at Hambach according to Ineos, including commitments to on-site suppliers.

Mercedes-Benz was originally going to use the Hambach factory to produce either the all-electric EQA or EQB, which will now be produced at the company’s factory in Rastatt, Germany.

The Grenadier, heavily inspired by the old Land Rover Defender, will be sold as a body-on-frame 4×4 wagon and dual-cab pickup with low-range gearing, multiple diff locks, and stripped-back off-road suspension, “designed and built to handle the world’s harshest environments”.

Though it’ll be built in an ex-Mercedes factory, it’ll be powered by a couple of BMW inline six-cylinder engines: a petrol and a turbo-diesel.

Ineos Automotive, part of petrochemical giant Ineos, is also teaming up with Hyundai to evaluate the possibility of a hydrogen fuel-cell version of the Grenadier.

The corporation produces 300,000 tons of hydrogen each year as a by-product from its chemical manufacturing and, through its subsidiary Inovyn, is also Europe’s largest existing operator of electrolysis – technology using renewables to produce hydrogen.

Hyundai, meanwhile, has been producing hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles since 2013.

Share
Link copied!
William Stopford
William Stopford
William Stopford is a Journalist at CarExpert.
Learn about CarExpert or contact CarExpert.
Next News
Honda S2000 making a comeback – report
Honda S2000 making a comeback – report

Also on CarExpert

news
HSV Colorado SportsCat V8: Australia's stillborn super-ute
HSV Colorado SportsCat V8: Australia's stillborn super-ute