I'd be interested to know how many of them Ineos is planning to sell in the USA annually to figure this out. Their pricing will certainly play a roll in that. It certainly seems now that the IG will initially fall in the 70-80k range, and if so, I would be out. Was hoping for a mildly spec'd version being close to 60k. Above that, for me anyway, lots of other pretty loaded options in a similar enough category for me to take flyer on a company that may or may not be around long enough to help alleviate jitters about a BMW powertrain and electronics holding up long term.
I'm trending that way. If it does indeed come to USA/Can - and I'm not as confident as I was - I think they'll need to cultivate newer potential buyers what with the delays and rising costs.
How pricing plays into that remains to be seen. But it will be a challenge for IG and some enthusiasts.
I’m still really keen on the Grenadier; it is maybe 75% of what I would want in my “perfect overlander” - and that is higher than anything currently on the market. But I’m with you both - there is risk with the purchase, especially in the American market, and rumors of rising prices and extended delays are dampening my enthusiasm.
Apart from the transfer case, which is made by Tremec in Mexico, none of the parts are sourced from North America. This creates an added concern around part-availability and access to service. NOTE – if the Grenadier becomes really successful, my guess is that BMW dealers will take over sales and service, and that would alleviate concerns over access to parts and service. However, if the Grenadier remains a low-volume niche vehicle, long-term ownership might be a bit of a nuisance, and if Ineos Automotive goes under, well, that’s a whole other problem.
While some parts are quite common here (e.g. the BMW engine and the ZF transmission) many other parts are harder to come by. In particular, I’m a little concerned about the Carraro axles; they are supposed to be an excellent product, but we know little about the availability of gears or aftermarket lockers for these axles. In contrast, Dana-type axles (whether made by Dana, Dynatrac, Terraflex, or whoever) are super common, gears are widely available, as are lockers, including the manual (cable-actuated) lockers from Ox (which - in my opinion - are the lockers that best embrace the ethos of the Grenadier). If the Grenadier came with Dana axles, I would order one without factory lockers, and I’d put in a set of Ox-Lockers: (1) no electronic actuator as with the Eaton lockers in the IG, (2) they do not unlock briefly when shifting between forward and reverse as with the Eaton lockers, (3) no need for air lines and O-rings as with ARB Air-Lockers, and (4) they are super strong, and engage when you pull a manual lever.
My concerns around parts and service seem to go up as the likely price for the vehicle goes up. Part of that is irrational, and based on a vague notion of risk, and part is based on the viability of the Grenadier in the North American market. I worry that as price goes up, the Grenadier will price itself out of the market like the Landcruiser 200 did. The Landcruiser’s main competitive advantage was its durability and reliability; many other vehicles were faster and handled better on-road (Range Rover, BMW, Audi, etc.), many other vehicles were cheaper, but still provided all-wheel drive (Subaru, etc.), and the Jeep Wrangler outperformed the Landcruiser in technical off-roading, and captures that joy that comes with feeling like your vehicle has personality – even if it breaks down on occasion.
Durability and reliability are also the Grenadier’s main selling points. Ineos will need people who are willing to pay for something they can’t discern in a test-drive (durability & reliability), whereas power and handling are immediately obvious (and a similarly priced SUV will outperform a Grenadier on the tarmac – by a wide margin). Of course, if you are in the market for a Grenadier, you shouldn’t be cross-shopping with SUVs, but once the price gets over $80,000 a lot of folk are going to look at some of the other vehicles in that price range, and realize that 85K gets you a really sweet ride. Over the last 20 years, most Americans faced with this choice opted for the expensive sporty-SUV and not the expensive bullet-proof Landcruiser.
On the other hand, the Grenadier has some things going for it that the Landcruiser did not. The solid front axle will be a key selling point to real overlanders, and the Grenadier is also a lot “cooler” than the Landcruiser. It has a retro look that is really popular today, and the styling (both inside and out) appeals to every adult who played with a Tonka truck as a kid (you know what I mean). Will this be enough to support sales? Sometimes I think “yes” sometimes I think “no”. I guess we will see, but I hope for the Grenadier’s success.