Emission rules to end Land Rover Defender production
- 8 October 2013
- From the section Birmingham & Black Country
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has said it will stop production of its Defender model in 2015 because it will not meet new European laws on fuel emissions.
The last of the 4x4 models will roll off the production line at its plant in Solihull in the West Midlands in December 2015, it confirmed.
The model had evolved over 67 years of production but it could not be adapted to meet new emissions rules, JLR said.
It said no jobs would be lost and it was working on a replacement model.
The first model in the style of the Defender was introduced in 1948 and was modelled on a World War II Jeep.
It was not given the Defender name until the early 1990s, shortly after the launch of the Land Rover Discovery.
More than two million have been sold since the car first appeared, JLR said.
The firm said the decision to cease production was "mainly legislation based."
'Workhorses with style'
Plans by the European Council and Parliament to bring in stricter measures for new car emissions by 2020 meant there were "certain conditions the Defender just won't meet," the company said.
It said a replacement model for the Defender was being developed to be launched in 2016.
JLR's head of products, John Edwards, said the new model would be "instantly recognised" by people who drive the current vehicle but it "won't necessarily be cheap".
Editor of Auto Express magazine, Steve Fowler, said the Defender had taken on "iconic status" after being driven by members of the Royal Family and being featured in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall.
He said: "It's a very important market for Land Rover, one of its three pillars with the Range Rover and the Discovery.
"As we experienced with another iconic car, the Mini, it had a bit of a sabbatical before coming back and that's what I fully expect to happen with the Defender."
Frank King, from the Land Rover owners' club in Cannock, Staffordshire, said it was "disappointing news."
He said: "The silhouette still looks the same as it did 67 years ago, although its been upgraded and had new engines and whatever. It's a real shame to see it go."