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The Ineos Defender?
Yesterday, the UK chemical giant Ineos revealed plans to release a brand new 4×4. A vehicle that will preserve the spirit of the classic Land Rover Defender. British billionaire chairman Jim Ratcliffe is spearheading the idea. With rumours of the new vehicle going back as far as last year, when Jaguar Land Rover halted production of the classic design. Maybe they could call it the Ineos Defender?
Ratcliffe called the move ‘fantastically exciting “. Ineos has made it clear that this isn’t a vanity project or a small run, high price venture. A statement from the Ineos website claims the car 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.’
Ratcliffe and Ineos are looking to not only bring back the Defender’s spirit, but also improve it. Claiming ‘I am a great admirer of the old Land Rover Defender and have enormous respect for its off-road capability. But whilst our off-roader might share its spirit, our new car will be a major improvement on previous models’, Ineos went on to offer a warning to the current SUV and Crossover saturated market. Saying that the new vehicle will offer an alternative to, what they call, ‘the current crop of standardised “jelly-mould” SUVs’.
A Rich Heritage and a British Classic
The history of the Defender goes back to the Land Rover Series I. Built in 1947 for the Amsterdam Motor Show in April the following year. Going through the II, III and Defender designs the vehicles remained incredibly popular until production ended. The last Defender rolling ot of Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull factory in January 2016. This final, two-millionth Defender was created as a one of a kind sendoff for the classic vehicle. With the special vehicle sold at auction for £400,000.
Ineos are a (currently) UK-based chemicals company. With products used in plastics, technology, medicines and a variety of other areas. In recent years Ineos has expanded into the energy sector, while the new vehicle will be led by the newly founded Ineos Automotive. The Ineos CEO, Dirk Heilmann, said: ‘Our job is to create the world’s best 4×4 and we are already moving forward with our plans’. Ineos have begun hiring a team of field experts and looking into manufacturing locations. Their teams cites the North of England as a personal favourite.
The yet un-named model is due to reach the market by 2020. This may prove a little late as JLR plan to have their, admittedly more crossover style Defender, on the market in December 2019.
While the classic Land Rover may be out of a production, at Tyres Direct we still stock a wide range of after market wheels and tyres to keep those classic vehicles running! Why not check them out?