EXCLUSIVE: Land Rover executive Edwards on next Defender [4 Oct update: sales figures added]
The original Land Rover, and John Edwards. The next Defender should be launched some time after mid-2016
John Edwards, who has just been announced as the head of Jaguar Land Rover's new Individual Products division, recently spoke to j-a about what he terms an "iconic" product, the Defender.
Edwards underlined the fact that the vehicle is "known and loved the world over", and compared it to the original Mini, as a way of hinting at what could be possible for the future.
The next Defender will be "instantly recognised" by anyone who knows the current vehicle and the "core values of dependability and functionality" will be retained. When asked if it might move upmarket, as some sources claim, Edwards noted that "the Defender is a product that isn't too precious", and that one of the things current owners love is "the ability to hose down the interior". Yet, he also stated that the replacement may be "similar to a premium powertool - it won't necessarily be cheap".
Will there be a production gap? Edwards says there will be, but puts a positive spin on this fact by adding that, "journalists never stop asking about this vehicle, which just shows how loved the current model is". Land Rover must cease building it in late 2015 due to the coming of EU6 regulations - there is no point in adapting the current vehicle for that and future safety legislation as annual production is under 20,000 units and the vehicle is nearing the end of its lifecycle.
As for North America, a region where the Defender's lack of airbags has prevented it from being sold for many years, Edwards says yes, the new model will be returning there. He just won't say when, exactly.
On 4 October, JLR's UK market sales organisation announced registrations for September and the year to date. In the case of the Defender, these soared by 30 percent YoY to 1,068 and 4,475 units respectively.
The codenames for the future Defender and its variants, plus other information for this vehicle programme are contained in PLDB, just-auto's global database for current and future vehicles. Simply click on the link below to buy a subscription, or to try PLDB for free. The database is updated with fresh information, daily.
Author: Glenn Brooks
PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)
PLDB from just-auto.com is a cost effective, vehicle cycle plan database, showing the production life of all major current and future vehicle models produced (or to be produced) globally by all brands...read more
Companies: Land Rover
Jaguar Land Rover has proved itself to be a strong and stable business in spite of the economic downturn, with good sales results in both developing and developed markets. Despite some difficult years...
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global 4WD and AWD sector, major suppliers, top 14 markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this report to gai...
Truck Manufacturing in the United Kingdom industry profile provides top-line qualitative and quantitative summary information including: market share, market size (value and volume 2008-12, and foreca...
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global OE automotive electrical wiring (EDS) sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts....
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: All eyes on Vienna
- ANALYSIS: Opel-Vauxhall and Buick's shared future
- PLDB Future Models - LA & Guangzhou shows insights
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI
- INTERVIEW: Fiat brand head, Olivier Francois
- GUANGZHOU DEBUTS: McLaren 625C
- Jaguar Land Rover to recall vehicles over TPMS
- JLR announces new connectivity platform/app
- Opel/Vauxhall to produce new SUV at Rüsselsheim
- 2014 LA SHOW: World debuts list [final version]