Ineos Group, the British chemical company bringing the rugged BMW-powered Grenadier SUV to North America in spring 2023, will open its order books on Thursday.
The company says 63,000 hand-raisers have expressed an curiosity within the boxy off-road car globally, with 12,000 of these in North America. Now the company needs to see who’s severe about shopping for a retro-looking utility car that’s geared toward followers of stripped-down, classic SUVs resembling the unique model of Land Rover Defender.
Those hand-raisers might be given a two-week alternative to put a $450 deposit on a car. After that, reservations will open to all prospects, Ineos’ North American Executive Vice President Greg Clark instructed Automotive News.
Speaking of the $450 deposit, Clark stated: “We definitely want an expression of real interest, and we feel with small amounts you can get lots and lots of speculation.”
Ineos is completely different from most different startups. Money isn’t a priority for the company; it is among the world’s largest chemical producers.
“This is not an exercise in crowdfunding by any stretch of the imagination,” Clark stated.
He has been shifting at warp pace to build out a service and components community and to pick retailers for the U.S., Canada and Mexico and have them up and prepared for business in time for launch.
The company stated Tuesday that its U.S. headquarters might be in Raleigh, N.C. Clark stated that Raleigh is inside shut proximity to ports and off-road terrain that can be utilized to reveal the car’s capabilities, and it is also in an interesting geographic location, which ought to make recruiting workers skilled in importing autos simpler.
With the primary deliveries about 20 months away, Clark has been interviewing sellers, engaged on the small print of what Ineos’ showrooms will appear like and establishing a nationwide service community.
Here are Ineos’ plans for North America, in accordance with Clark.
- Dealers: In the U.S. and Canada, Ineos will award franchises to particular person sellers or to dealership teams with sturdy regional footprints. It’s doable, Clark stated, that the company may award sure territories to massive nationwide dealership chains. But the purpose is to maintain the variety of sellers and regional distributors small and manageable. The company is trying for round 40 factors at launch.
- Showrooms: Clark estimates that sellers might want to spend money on the “low six figures” for an Ineos showroom that may accommodate between one and three autos to begin and presumably as many as six when the company provides new fashions.
“What we’ve learned so far is that customers are not impressed by palace showrooms. They want to be able to speak one-to-one with people who are as enthusiastic and passionate about 4x4s and the lifestyle as they are,” Clark stated. “I want them [dealers] investing their money in great people, in great training to deliver a great customer experience.”
- Service and components: Ineos is working with Bosch so as to add factory-authorized service factors in areas the place there are not any dealerships. Bosch has a nationwide community of unbiased service facilities. It’s additionally doable that dealership teams with BMW franchises will have the ability to service the Grenadier. Clark says Ineos is in talks with BMW on the matter. The company goals to ship components to service facilities wherever within the U.S. inside 24 hours.
- Mexico: Ineos probably will appoint one or two distributors who might be accountable for all features of the Grenadier’s gross sales, advertising and marketing and repair.
About 4,000 potential prospects have ridden in early variations of the SUV, and the company has logged about 1.2 million check miles. A former Daimler plant on the French-German border the place the Grenadier might be constructed is now being run by Ineos.
The car will launch late subsequent year in Europe after which North American exports will start. The Grenadier probably might be lined by a 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee, Clark stated. “We absolutely believe in this vehicle,” he added, “and stand behind it.”