Jim Ratcliffe, the billionaire UK businessman and Land Rover nut who is planning to manufacture a 4x4 to fill the niche vacated when Land Rover stopped building Defenders, says that he is close to choosing the location for the factory where the vehicles will be built. Ratcliffe says that he would like the project to be built in the UK, but that Germany, France, and Belgium are also in the running.
The Defender-inspired SUV's are intended as a "spiritual successor" to the Land Rover Defender. The current name for the company is Ineos Automotive, and the vehicle is known as Projekt Grenadier, named after one of Ratcliffe's favorite pubs. The project is expected to cost £700m, and in order to build the trucks in the UK, Ratcliffe has asked for government support. He has projected that ultimately Grenadier will bring up to 1,000 jobs to wherever they are built. While it makes sense on an emotional level to build them in the UK, mainland Europe may be the cheaper option. Ineos also partnered with MBtech, a subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz, to provide engineering services and oversee all developments of the new vehicle.
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