INEOS Automotive is a small British company founded in 2017, which derives from a much larger company, INEOS, with 22 years of experience in the chemicals industry. The name INEOS derives directly from Inspec Ethylene Oxide Specialties, although since 1995, it has been called INEOS.
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The origin of INEOS
Inspec was founded in 1988 by Sir Jim Ratcliffe and John Hollowood to execute a purchase by the management of British Petroleum’s (BP) Chemicals Division. In 1995, it acquired BP’s ethylene oxide and glycol businesses to become Inspec Ethylene Oxide Specialties, a term that would eventually become INEOS three years later. Since then, the company has grown in the chemicals sector to establish more than 22,000 employees in 2015.
Two years later, in 2017, Ratcliffe founded INEOS Automotive to develop an off-road vehicle with the difficult task of becoming the spiritual successor to the Land Rover Defender. The resulting vehicle of this ambitious company, known initially as Projekt Grenadier, is the Ineos Grenadier, and it was finally unveiled in 2020 as a production model. However, it is not expected to reach the market until 2022.
Production of the Grenadier will take place in two new INEOS factories. The first is located in Estarreja, Portugal. Both the chassis and the body are assembled, while the second is in Bridgend, in Wales (Great Britain), where the chassis and engine are joined, and the vehicle’s final assembly.
Ineos Grenadier, the first model of the chemical giant
The only vehicle developed by the company is the Ineos Grenadier, a pure off-roader set to become the spiritual successor to Land Rover’s legendary Defender. The car was announced in 2019 and was finally unveiled in 2020 in its final production version. Production will officially begin in 2022 when the first units land in dealerships.
The Grenadier is a robust off-roader with a classic look and iconic image, with boxy lines, round headlights, a massive split-two-leaf tailgate, off-road wheels, and a high body height. The INEOS 4×4 also offers four-wheel drive, high-strength materials, and optimal storage capacity. It also has a load capacity of one ton and a towing capacity of 3.5 tonnes.
INEOS has wanted to play it safe and opted for BMW six-cylinder engines and ZF eight-speed automatic transmissions regarding the mechanical section. The company has surrounded itself with the best partners to supply the parts. For example, Magna Steyr will handle its development, the Spanish giant Gestamp will deliver the stringer chassis, and Carraro will provide the suspensions.