Petrochemical giant Ineos begins production of the Grenadier for the US market at its plant in Hambach, France.
The Land Rover Defender-style SUV, powered by BMW engines, has faced a number of delays in its journey to production, but deliveries already began in a number of countries earlier this year.
The Grenadier will start at $73,100 in the US, placing it into competition with the Land Rover Defender, but not quite the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
A few days ago Ineos finally started production of the Grenadier SUV meant for North American buyers, after kicking off production for other regions earlier this year, with the first US-bound example—a Belstaff Fieldmaster edition finished in Scottish White—rolling off the assembly line.
The rugged 4x4, developed as a replacement of sorts for the classic Land Rover Defender, is currently being assembled in Hambach, France, at a former Mercedes-Benz factory that the petrochemical giant purchased and converted in 2021.
Ineos is currently producing the SUV for a total of 20 markets, with a planned total of 40, with deliveries having already kicked off in several European countries. US deliveries will begin in November.
"With the addition of North America, Hambach is now producing for export to five continents," said Lynn Calder, CEO of Ineos Automotive.
Over the past couple of years the automaker's North American arm has also been busy readying a dealer and service network for the SUV. This summer Ineos also unveiled the pickup version of the Grenadier, dubbed Grenadier Quartermaster.
In the meantime, we already drove the gasoline and diesel versions of the Grenadier SUV earlier this year, finding it an able performer with BMW power underhood, even if a few dynamic nitpicks emerged in the course of our time behind the wheel.
But the bigger question is perhaps just where the Grenadier will fit in the current roster of off-road-friendly SUVs currently on sale in North America, which is not a short list by any stretch.
It certainly helps that the Land Rover Defender has headed for luxury territory, as has the Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
But the Grenadier certainly won't be as affordable as the least expensive versions of the Jeep Wrangler, with Ineos' take on the old British workhorse wearing a $73,100 sticker. That's within well-optioned four-door Land Rover Defender territory, but still well shy of the eye-watering sum of $141,050 currently required to land in a new Mercedes-Benz G-Class.
So it won't be undercutting the Land Rover Defender in price. It will also be a bit of an unknown machine for buyers in almost all respects, save for the BMW engines.
The classic Defender's current and former clientele will certainly be in the Grenadier's cross-hairs, but it remains to be seen whether it will acquire the glamorous persona the G-Class has gained stateside over the past 25 years.
What kind of buyer audience will the Grenadier attract? Let us know what you think.