Ineos Automotive has purchased a former Mercedes factory in Hambach, near the French border with Germany, and has announced that the Grenadier 4x4 will now be built there, rather than in South Wales as originally planned.
Ineos Group Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: “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.”
The site’s proximity to Germany was also offered as an explanation for the move, with the Grenadier’s engines and gearboxes set to be supplied by BMW.
The plant at Hambach currently produces the Smart EQ Fortwo, and Ineos will continue to build those on a contract manufacturing basis. Production of the Grenadier begins in late 2021. Quite the pair, hey?
Ineos also says that the acquisition safeguards 1,300 jobs at Hambach ‘that might otherwise have been lost’.
The company’s original plans, announced in September 2019, involved building its new old-school off-roader in Bridgend.
STORY Greg Potts