Mercedes-Benz has confirmed the sale of its assembly plant in Hambach (France), where it manufactures the Smart, to the British producer of SUVs Ineos Automotive, which will maintain 1,300 jobs, partners and production of the electric two-seater model.
Ineos Automotive, a subsidiary of the chemical Ineos, acquires all the shares in Smart in France and the factory in Hambach in the coming weeks. One of his first projects is the Grenadier model, an all-terrain vehicle aesthetically reminiscent of the iconic Land Rover. According to Sir Jim Ratcliffe, President of INEOS, “The Grenadier project started motivated by the void that we see in a market neglected by many manufacturers: functional SUVs”.
The first step has been publicize your exterior design, which is a further step towards the start of its production, which could begin towards the end of next year.
For reference, in addition to the Land Rover, the designers have taken into account al Jeep Willys de 1940. The parameters from which they started were having the wheels located in the corners of the platform, having permanent 4X4 contraction and mechanical transfer case, a modern and comfortable interior (although this interior has not yet been revealed), unveiled), being able to move a weight of 3.5 tons, and that the repairs were simple.
The Hambach plant, which employs 1,600 people, opened at the end of 1997 and since 2019 has been producing two-seater Smart EQ and two-seater convertible Smart EQ, the fourth generation of the electric Smart model.
Daimler and Geely last year created a joint venture to produce the Electric Smart, which will begin to be commercialized globally in 2022 and to be produced in a new, purpose-built electric car factory in China.
Mercedes-Benz reported in early July that it is reducing its network of production factories and that it wanted to sell Hambach’s.