MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS sees a gap in the
market for an uncompromising off-roader following JLR’s decision to cease
production of the Land Rover Defender, said the company on its
INEOS is prepared to invest "many hundreds of millions" producing
the new vehicle and hopes this could be done in the UK. "This is a fantastically
exciting project", says Jim Ratcliffe, INEOS Chairman. "We want to build the
world’s purest 4 x 4 and are aiming it at explorers, farmers and off-road
enthusiasts across the globe".
Following the completion of a six month
feasibility study, INEOS has today confirmed that it is to go ahead and build a
brand new "uncompromising" 4 x 4 off-roader. Whilst the company is one of the
largest manufacturers in the world, it will be the first time that INEOS has
produced such a vehicle.
The company is expecting to spend many hundreds
of millions on the project and is determined that the vehicle will not only fill
a gap in the market vacated by the Defender but also provide a step change
improvement in build quality and reliability. Identification of a suitable
manufacturing location will be a part of the next phase of the project and the
company will look at UK sites alongside other European options.
project is to be run by Dirk Heilmann, formerly head of Engineering and
Technology at INEOS. Dirk, now CEO of INEOS Automotive has already started
recruiting a team of automotive experts and says, "This is an amazing project
for everyone involved. Our job is to create the world’s best 4 x 4 and we are
already moving forward with our plans".
The project is the brainchild of
INEOS Chairman, Jim Ratcliffe, who was a fan of the original Land Rover
Defender. When it ceased production, Jim saw a gap in the market for an
uncompromising off-roader that stood for adventure and active driving but also
had the capability to be a work and utility machine.
The vehicle will not
be a replica of the Defender but will reflect its philosophy. The target market
is global and includes agriculture and forestry workers, explorers and
adventurers as well as traditional Defender fans that simply enjoy an authentic
4 x 4 driving experience.
INEOS is determined that its new vehicle will
offer a real and pure alternative to the current crop of standardised
"I am a great admirer of the old Land Rover Defender
and have enormous respect for its off road capability", says Jim Ratcliffe,
INEOS Chairman, "and our new 4 x4 has been inspired by it. But whilst our
off-roader might share its spirit, our new car will be a major improvement on
INEOS Group Limited is a privately owned multinational
chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in
Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom.
It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues
(after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned
company in the United Kingdom.