Jaguar Land Rover may have hit the sweet spot when it comes to the Defender SUV. Not only were they able to modernize it for the new era, but they were also able to make the off-roader appeal to a wider audience – so much so that they had to make changes to address supply issues.
With the Defender being made together with the Discovery in JLR's Nitra, Slovakia plant, the manufacturer has decided to add a third shift to reduce the backlog of orders. Along with the go-anywhere SUV, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport make up JLR's most profitable models.
For the previous seven quarters, the Defender has been JLR's best-selling model. In fact, in the fourth quarter of 2022 alone, the British manufacturer sold 23,816 units, making up about 25% of JLR's orders.
Since its launch, the Defender has been constantly kept fresh with new features, powertrains, and special edition models like the X-Dynamic Custom Pack. After being initially offered in the 90 and 110 versions, the Defender 130 also joined the lineup to add a more practical third-row seat for the SUV.
With an all-electric Defender coming out later in the decade using the newer MLA Flex platform, JLR expects sales numbers of their iconic 4x4 to further rise, giving them a renewed challenge of keeping up supplies over demand.