It appears that the second-generation Land Rover Defender won’t be making its scheduled debut in 2018 after AutoCar UK reported that the company plans to tackle the project with a sounder business/production plan.
The original Defender had already ceased production several weeks ago and is due to be replaced by an all-new generation that will feature modern amenities and safety features. Moreover, it will be available in several body styles. With it, Land Rover is rather unsure on how to go with it as they see the nameplate as a low volume seller that has to be priced right.
There is also an ongoing evaluation that the next-generation Defender will be built in other Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) factories around the world. But the company is cautious about the idea as many view the Defender as a British icon, with the nameplate itself having been solely manufactured at the company’s Soluhill facility.
In review, Land Rover stopped production of the original Defender as the nameplate hasn’t been able to keep up with the times. It has changed little in its 68-year run and the Defender’s lack of certain features meant that it was solely aimed for the enthusiast. In addition, current vehicle regulations and standards meant that it won’t be able to pass certain pedestrian and emission safety tests.
Originally slated to debut on 2018 as a 2019 model year, it is unclear whether JLR will still label it as a 2019 automobile as it will likely be delayed due to production and business planning.