Sir James Ratcliffe, a British millionaire, has joined the Kenyan car market by appointing a dealer to distribute the Grenadier, a 4×4 utility vehicle that resembles the original Land Rover Defender.
INEOS Automotive has appointed Wooton Automotive to sell the newly developed cars in the local market exclusively. INEOS Automotive is owned by Sir Ratcliffe, the billionaire who funded Eliud Kipchoge’s 2019 special marathon.
“We have worked tirelessly for over a year to find retail partners that share our enthusiasm and excitement for the Grenadier,” Tim Abbott, INEOS Automotive’s president of South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, said in a statement.
“They understand 4X4 users and their requirements and have a proven track record for exceptional customer service. Together with our regional partners, we look forward to providing Grenadier customers with the advice, guidance, and support they need.”
According to the company, the INEOS Grenadier’s technical specifications and indicative pricing will be finalized by the end of April, with order books starting in May.
The INEOS Grenadier will be equipped with an automatic transmission and will be powered by a three-litre diesel or petrol engine manufactured by BMW.
According to reports in the UK, a five-seater version of the automobile might start at £55,000. (Sh8 million), but due to a 25% import charge and other taxes, the price is projected to be higher in Kenya.
However, its primary competitor, the latest Land Rover Defender, sold by Inchcape Kenya, can cost up to Sh20 million.
According to the Kenya Motor Industry Association, only 17 Land Rover Defenders were sold in Kenya last year.
The current version of the Defender includes more technology and luxury amenities than the previous model, which was discontinued in 2016 due to tighter European emissions rules.
Sir Ratcliffe, who according to Forbes has a net worth of $16 billion, began the process of bringing the INEOS Grenadier to market in 2017. He claims the car will fill a void left by other automakers.
The car is described by INEOS Automotive as a dependable 4×4 capable of handling off-road conditions.
Wooton Automotive’s appointment is part of INEOS Automotive’s ambition to have 200 sales and service locations for the Grenadier throughout 50 countries, including established dealer groups, 4X4 specialists, and agricultural equipment dealers.
INEOS Automotive is a division of the INEOS Group, a global leader in the production of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals, and oil products. INEOS had revenues of almost $61 billion in 2019.