Ineos boss Jim Ratcliffe has said the company is still “very positive” about plans to move into the motor industry with the resurrection of the Land Rover Defender.
The North Sea developer revealed it was launching a feasibility study earlier this year.
Speaking to Energy Voice as the first shipment of shale arrived at Grangemouth, Ratcliffe said the company did not want to change the exterior and would not build something with “soft, round, fluffy corners”.
The firm held exploratory talks with Jaguar Land Rover earlier this year.
He said:“We are still very positive about the project, we’re still going through the study phase and the study phase is largely about emission levels and about pedestrian impact issues those are two hurdles we have to come overcome from the project to go to the next stage which we’ll know by Christmas.
“I’m quite hopeful we get through those two issues because if we do build a defender, regarding the exterior appearance of the defender, rather like a listed building, we don’t wish to change the exterior.
“If we have to give it soft, round, fluffy corners it won’t be like a defender anymore it will be like every other 4×4 or family saloon on the road.
“On emissions we clearly need an engine which is substantial enough to make the vehicle drive and so that’s why pedestrian impact and emission legislation are the two primary hurdles to get us to the green light.”
Motoring is the latest in a string of financial investments the firm has made.
Earlier this year, Mr Ratcliffe said the company’s purchase of a number of North sea assets was a “sensible” move as it looks to expand its oil and gas reach.
The chemical engineer turned industrialist said Ineos took around 18 months to consider whether to acquire assets in the region.