News : Ineos Grenadier to be built in Wales

Ineos Automotive has announced that its utilitarian 4×4 will be named ‘Grenadier’ after the pub in which it was conceived, with more than 6000 international fans and followers responding to an online poll to choose the vehicle’s name. It started out as an idea three years ago, and is now getting very serious indeed, with prototypes in testing, a factory being put up, and a section of the market pining for a replacement for the original Land Rover Defender.

The new Grenadier will be built in a bespoke new factory on a greenfield site in Bridgend, South Wales, not far from where Ford announced it will be closing its engine factory. Ineos Automotive says this will create 200 jobs initially, and up to 500 in the long term. Site development is now under way to support planned start of production in 2021.

The new car, which was conceived to replace the Land Rover Defender now that JLR has moved upmarket, will be built in volumes of up to 25,000 per year in Wales. The bodies and chassis will be built in a sub-assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal. The facility will produce the Grenadier’s body and chassis, working in conjunction with the company’s European supply chain partners. Ineos has also confirmed that the new car’s engine will be a 3.0-litre BMW straight-six.

Government backing for the new plant

Marketing chief Tom Crotty told CAR, ‘the Grenadier will be an ‘uncompromising 4×4 with a ladder chassis, beam axles, locking differentials. It would initially be in station wagon guise, but other bodies would follow, starting with a twin-cab pick-up. Aftermarket specialists would be encouraged to come up with their own configurations and accessories. There will be long and short wheelbases.’

Welsh Government Economy and Transport Minister Ken Skates said: ‘This announcement is great news for Wales and I’m delighted Ineos Automotive will be setting up home in Bridgend which has a long history of skilled manufacturing expertise. The Welsh Government has worked closely with the company to make this happen and I look forward to seeing the development of the new site progress ahead of the planned start of production in 2021.’

Ineos Group Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: ‘We have looked long and hard at possible manufacturing locations for Grenadier across the world with lots of good options to choose from. The decision to build in the UK is a significant expression of confidence in British manufacturing, which has always been at the heart of what Ineos stands for.’

Keith Adams

Editor and creator AROnline at AROnline
Created in 2001 and built it up to become the world's foremost reference source for all things BMC, Leyland and Rover Group, before renaming it AROnline in 2007.

Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...

Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.
Keith Adams


  1. Just why does a “greenfield site” need to be lost to this admittedly worthwhile project? With all the supposed closed industrial sites in south Wales, surely one could one found by Ineos. Yet more destruction of the environment. I’d back Extinction Revolution camping out on this sward of our ONCE green and pleasant land.

  2. I do hope the project succeeds, but what irony that one of the biggest brexiters in the country is having his vehicle bodies produced in Europe!

    • Seems a bit odd to have 2 separate plants to produce this, it would surely make more sense to produce the whole thing in either Wales or Portugal?

  3. I wish it well, but I fear that they target a narrow segment of the market, squeezed between the cheap and cheerful pick ups from Asia and the more sophisticated SUVs.

    Add into that the push to electromobility, Rural Defender customers are very suited to be adopters, they don’t go far or fast, low torque electric power is great for hauling and off road and they invariably have access to off street parking, 3 phase power supply (many generating their own power through solar and wind) and will desire the simplicity, reliability and low sevicing of an EV power train.

    It makes me wonder as to why they have not got at EV version at launch!

    Could it be the Brexit mindset has of its creator is looking back rather than forward?

  4. Very surprised that this “basic” off roader will have 3 litre 6 cylinder BMW engines (petrol or diesel), when the new Defender uses 2 litre Ingenium units.

    The Grenadier will have an awful lot of power, surely not needed for the roles it will be undertaking?

  5. Not built in Wales just assembled with a body and chassis made in Portugal.,the engine made in Germany so the factory isn’t building cars it’s assembling CKD kits. It’ll be interesting to see how it does but Ineos will have it’s work cut out with the established Japanese 4×4 manufacturers such as Isuzu Mitsubishi,Nissan & Toyota having such a grip on the market segment

  6. Not sure it matters whether they are assembling or building – it’s in the UK – it’s work for people and it’s a brave venture – let all of us glass half full guys get behind it.

    • The car industry is multinational now and most cars are assembled from parts made all over the world. At least the body will be British and the Grenadier could create hundreds of jobs in Wales and hopefully thousands of exported models, so let’s back it.

  7. Being positive – Radcliff is not Delorean. He has the money.
    I’ve met consultants who are putting in his ERP system and they say it’s all top grade best of breed and these guys have worked on projects at BMW. They’ve got a “virtual factory” up and running now.
    He’s got a billion cash in the bank ringfenced for this project. Only question in my mind – where are his dealers? If he’d done this a few years earlier could have bought the shell of rover…

  8. By the time this vehicle is launched there should be a plug in Hybrid Defender available, and there’s going to be a massive change to Electric and Hybrid vehicles in the couple of years, will this vehicle find itself behind the times or will it be able to find enough buyers in its niche?

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