With INEOS Grenadiers slowly starting to make their way onto South African roads, Ian McLaren had a sit down with their head honchos after visiting their impressive Cape Town dealership at the V&A Waterfront.
South Africans love off-roading. Our monthly new car sales numbers don’t lie – SUVs and bakkies rule the roost. Granted, most rarely venture off of the beaten path but there are still a certain few that cater to the most hardcore of adventurers. Where the discontinued original Land Rover Defender left off, the INEOS Grenadier hopes to forge forward.
Now, the brand has emerged in South Africa, with an impressive Cape Town dealership adjacent to a helipad at the V&A Waterfront. George Ratcliffe, Commercial Director of INEOS Automotive says: “We haven’t finished the [test] track completely yet, it’ll go up into Cape Town and route up to Table Mountain on gravel, so it shows the vehicle’s capabilities on and off-road.” The bespoke off-road course has been purpose-built for the Grenadier with respective wading, departure and arrival angles all centred around the versatile model.
More impressively, the journey to get the Grenadier here has taken considerable time and effort with the justification behind the 6-month delay being the pursuit of improved quality and reliability. Lynn Calder, CEO of INEOS Automotive added that they have put the model through over 2 million km worth of testing with favourable results, jokingly stating “we haven’t broken it yet even though we’ve tried very hard.”
Despite this, Calder added that they have built the Grenadier under the ideology that it can be repaired quickly and easily.
We have done over 2 million km worth of testing and we haven’t broken it yet even though we’ve tried very hard and that doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to have problems with vehicles and that talks to how quickly we can fix it. You can have a car that you can fix that you don’t have to plug into a million different diagnostic machines so we have substantially less electronic control units than most vehicles on the market today.
INEOS will have full sales service operations available in Durban, Gauteng and Cape Town within the next few months, as well as five BMW service centres (the vehicles are fitted with BMW engines and transmissions) sited on major routes, able to assist.