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Classic Land Rover Defender may be saved by billionaire

14 Juillet 2016 - Autoblog

Classic Land Rover Defender may be saved by billionaire

Earlier this year, Land Rover produced its last Defender SUV. Like other long-running models, the Defender finally succumbed to stiffer government vehicle regulations.

But after 68 years of production, people became fond of the boxy brute, and at least one wealthy fan is interested in resurrecting it.

According to a report from The Times, Jim Ratcliffe, a billionaire who made his money in the chemical industry, met with Jaguar Land Rover executives to talk about taking the Defender off of Tata's hands. It's unclear, however, whether he's interested only in the stampings and assembly equipment, or perhaps the name as well.

This is all interesting because we know Land Rover intends to market a successor to the Defender, albeit one that is likely significantly more pleasant on road and less simple and rugged. It certainly wouldn't need the tooling for the old model, so it wouldn't be hard to imagine selling it to someone interested in producing low quantities of the original, similar to Caterham and its Lotus 7-based sports cars. However, it would be surprising if Land Rover sold the name, considering how the company could take advantage of the name's goodwill for its follow-up. If we do see a continuation of the classic Defender, you won't hear any complaints from us.

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