Land Rover’s iconic Defender off-roader is not long for this world, and production of its replacement is reportedly set to occur in Eastern Europe.
The UK’s Autocar reports that a new factory will be established in Hungary or Poland, designed as a specialist plant to build the new aluminium Defender, and potentially the next Discovery.
Jaguar Land Rover’s Range Rover Sport and Evoque models have apparently forced the move to a new factory, as their popularity could mean the existing production lines will soon lack the capacity to cope with all three models (Evoque, Sport and Defender).
New Jaguar models in the F-PACE and XE will further stretch JLR’s facilities, and production of the ‘regular’ Range Rover and new Discovery Sport could also be shifted - to the Magna plant in Austria - as a result.
Looking further outside the UK, Land Rover is also reportedly considering a new plant in Mexico and already builds cars in China.
While Land Rover has revealed little about the Defender’s replacement to date, a new aluminium construction is expected to feature and the model is said to be known within Land Rover’s walls as “Project Darwin”.
The Defender replacement is scheduled to arrive sometime in 2017, but the current and final model as we know it is set to go out with a bang before being retired later this year.
That ‘retirement’ may be short lived, however, as persistent rumours suggest the tooling will be shifted to India or similar for the Defender to live on under a new carmaker.
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