Chemicals czar Jim Ratcliffe is gearing up to revive production of the Land Rover Defender, one of Britain’s most iconic cars.
The Ineos owner is in talks with senior executives at the Tata-owned car manufacturer which stopped production of the 67-year old Defender in January this year after the vehicle could not keep up with new emission rules.
The Sunday Times reports that Ratcliffe, who is worth £3.2bn, might be eyeing up just the intellectual property or parts of the production line. He reportedly snapped up one of the last Defenders made.
The popular 4×4 vehicle has been featured in many films including the 2012 Bond movie Skyfall and Tom Cruise film Edge of Tomorrow. Also, the Queen has been spotted driving a Defender numerous times since the 1950s.
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Defender’s parent company Jaguar Land Rover has broken global sales records selling 291,556 vehicles between January and June, up 22 per cent on the same six-month period last year.
The company recorded its best-ever figures for June, with sales of 46,456 vehicles, an increase of 17 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The car firm attributed the growth to a 64 per cent increase in sales for the first half of the year.
Meanwhile, Ratcliffe donated £25m to his alma mater London Business School last month. He obtained an MBA from the school in 1980 while working for Exxon Chemicals as a chemical engineer.
“London Business School is one of the best business institutions in the world, introducing people to the broader concept of business. It is a magnificent building and I am delighted to help the school secure its long-term future,” he said.