Land Rover Ditching Defender? All Options Being Considered

By Trevor Dorchies | July 29, 2011
Picture Jeep dropping the ever stalwart Wrangler from its line-up. Imagine, if you will, the hue and cry – no doubt accompanied by pitchforks and torches – among hard-core Jeep fans if that came to pass. That may be the nightmare scenario facing Land Rover, as the company considers dropping its equally iconic Defender. Land Rover UK's Managing Director Colin Green recently told Auto Express that the company is indeed considering such a move, but he's well aware of the gravity of such a move. "If we get it wrong we are messing up one of the industry’s biggest icons, and in that sense it’s a tremendous responsibility," said Green.
The Defender went on sale in 1947, and immediately gained lasting popularity with off-road enthusiasts and nature documentary hosts. A half century later, the Defender looks largely the same, although it has evolved significantly. When Ford owned Land Rover, the Defender received one of its most significant upgrades with a new steel frame, trying to target a younger, more adventurous crowd. The problem is twofold. The Defender's current engine lineup is emissions friendly in Europe through 2016, but after that it's an open question. The other is the market, as most SUV drivers want a softer, more comfortable vehicle than the Defender, which lacks many of the luxury accouterments of the company's other offerings. Land Rover is considering options such as using cleaner engines or possibly redesigning the vehicle, possibly putting in the same family as the Discovery and Range Rover Sport. However, that would drive up cost, and at around $30,000 in its home market, it's not like the Defender is cheap to begin with. "Another option is to carry on the current model using Euro VI engines. A third is that we abandon that section of the market," said Green."It’s our least preferred choice because we have serviced that customer base for a long time, but there’s no point in servicing the customer and not the business. We have to make money and all three options are on the table.” Do you think Land Rover abandoning the Defender is a good or bad move? Tell us below in the comment section. Source: Auto Express
k s pradeep
k s pradeep

being a die hard fan of the defender from my childhood,it will be an hasty decision by its manufacturers.erasing a icon ? is it so easy instead of dumping defender has got its own potential customers and there is no dearth of the followers across the globe.Long live the DEFENDER in all avtaars.