Land Rover Ponders Where to Build New Defender
17 Février 2016 - Autoblog
The Land Rover Defender just ended production after 68 years, and we shouldn't expect to see a successor to the venerable off-roader on sale until 2019.
According to Autocar citing unnamed insiders, the automaker doesn't even know where to build the next one yet. Some officials are pushing to assemble the new model outside of the UK, like at the factory in Slovakia, but others want to retain the model's legacy of construction in Britain.
Land Rover's leaders have felt the pressure to get the new Defender on the road because of the model's long history in the range, according to Autocar. However, the company has been unable to make a decision about how to bring the vehicle back. The DC100 concept signaled a way forward when it debuted in 2011, but the automaker scrapped those plans in 2013. Reports now suggest we might not see another concept until 2018.
Land Rover wants to increase Defender volume from about 20,000 annually for the previous version to 100,000 for the new one. To make that possible, the company reportedly plans to push the model upmarket and make it more civilized. The next Defender would remain roughly the same size as the outgoing vehicle but have no resemblance to the DC100 concept. An anonymous insider told Autocar that design director Gerry McGovern "now knows what the new Defender will look like", but the person didn't offer any further details.
The push for increased volume could mean the Defender's welcome return to the US. Land Rover would likely continue to offer the SUV in a variety of wheelbase lengths and bodystyles to suit customers' desires. Now, the company needs to make the final decisions to make this promising comeback a reality.