Court rules in Ineos' favour after Land Rover lodges design complaint against new Grenadier
• Land Rover took Ineos to court over the Grenadier's design.
• The judge ruled in Ineos' favour.
• The Ineos Grenadier is expected to make its local debut in 2022.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
In 2021, a new off-road machine will go on sale. Called the Ineos Grenadier, the vehicle reminds strongly of the erstwhile Land Rover Defender - the iconic SUV that captured the hearts and imaginations of millions around the world.
It is for this very reason that Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) took Ineos to court of the Grenadier's design, saying that the upcoming SUV infringes on trademark rights. It came to light, however, that a London court dismissed JLR's appeal and gave judgement in Ineos' favour.
According to Automotive News Europe, the judge's verdict made it clear that the differences in design "may be unimportant, or may not even register, with average consumers."
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Ineos Grenadier (left) and Land Rover Defender (Wheels24)
Land Rover not happy
The Defender is an iconic vehicle in the motoring world. Up until production ended a few years ago, it was the go-to 4x4 for many adventurers and the default when one needed to rope in a vehicle for the unknown. So iconic was the Defender that JLR trademarked the Defender's shape in various parts of the world, so their dissatisfaction in the ruling is understandable.
JLR said in a statement: "The Land Rover Defender is an iconic vehicle, which is part of Land Rover's past, present and future. Its unique shape is instantly recognizable and signifies the Land Rover brand around the world."
Ineos, on the other hand, is more than happy with the outcome, saying "that the shape of the Defender does not serve as a badge of origin for JLR's goods. We continue with our launch plans and are excited to bring the Grenadier to market in 2021."
Land Rover Defender (MotorPress)
But is it a Defender…
Ineos revealed its new Grenadier earlier in 2020, and yes, it does remind strongly of a Land Rover Defender. And perhaps the Defender did inspire Jim Ratcliffe, Ineos' billionaire owner. But at closer inspection, the Grenadier does boast its own design elements and traits to make it stand out, regardless of where inspiration was drawn from.
According to Ineos, the Grenadier looks the way it does because form had to follow function. The box design is a tried-and-tested recipe that underpinned several iconic 4x4 machines that includes the Willy's Jeep that did duty in World War II. The Willy's, says Ineos, is another inspiration for the Grenadier's design.
If the Ineos wants to differentiate itself from the Defender, it would have to prove itself where it matters most: off-road. As such, the Grenadier will feature three diff-locks, BMW-sourced petrol and diesel engines, and a ladder chassis with beam axles. To mention a few. The Grenadier will make its South African debut in 2022, if all goes well, and will go up against the likes of the new Defender and Jeep Wrangler.
All-new Ineos Grenadier (Ineos Media)