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INEOS Automotive plans 2022 Europe launch for off-road vehicle By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO : This logo was displayed at the headquarters for INEOS chemical company in Rolle, Switzerland on November 13, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

By Nick Carey

LONDON (Reuters) – INEOS Automotive, a unit of chemicals and energy giant INEOS, will launch a rugged off-road vehicle in Europe in 2022 and North America in 2023 for farmers and other primarily rural uses, it said on Wednesday,

The company plans initially to launch with a utilitarian version of the Grenadier for business customers – which should make up the majority of sales of the four-wheel drive vehicle – and a more comfortable passenger version.

In 2022, the vehicle will be available in several parts of Africa as well as in the Middle East.

INEOS Automotive also plans to launch a pickup truck version for North American markets. The pickup truck market in the United States is a large and profitable segment of overall auto industry sales.

BMW will build the drivetrains and petrol engines for this compact Grenadier. Production of the vehicle will launch in late 2021 at a former Daimler AG (DE:) passenger car plant in Hambach, in northeastern France, that INEOS Automotive acquired from the German carmaker last year.

Gary Pearson is INEOS Automotive’s Market Manager for the UK, Middle East, and North Africa. He said that the current market is suitable for the company’s combustion engine technology.

However, Europe’s ban on fossil fuel vehicles is imminent so the company is exploring hydrogen fuel cell technology. This will allow the Grenadier to be zero-emission.

Pearson explained that as electric technology advances, we may find it more practical. But today, in terms of range and the weight of the batteries… for a vehicle that must pull, lift, or carry objects, it’s not right at this time.

A deal between Hyundai and parent company INEOS allows for the exploration of hydrogen supply and production. Hyundai will also be evaluating the Grenadier fuel-cell system from South Korea.

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