The iconic Land Rover Defender may not go out of production in 2015 after all, following a huge upsurge in demand from customers wanting to own one of the very last examples.
According to a report in the Birmingham Post, production of the iconic 4×4, which was originally scheduled to cease at the end of this year, will continue into 2016. Business Reporter Enda Mullen cites a Land Rover insider as revealing that the Defender would stay in production until all orders were fulfilled.
‘It is going to be extended until at least the end of February,” said the Land Rover employee, who works at the Lode Lane factory. ‘We have had a glut of orders and are going on until then.
‘Although I’ve been told that February is the definite cut-off date, someone else has said it could possibly go on until April.”
The worker added that, although there was increased demand the car-maker, had not added an additional Defender shift.
While other areas of the Solihull factory have 24-hour manufacturing to cope with demand for Land Rover, and now Jaguar, vehicles built there, Defender production is still carried out by around 450 workers on a single day shift.
‘The shift is still running normally and as always it is only days as well,” they said
In March, the Birmingham Post also revealed that Defender production was being ramped up by almost 50 per cent to cope with increased demand during the model’s farewell year.
Ordinarily, each shift might produce 84 Defenders but output had been increased to 125 to cope with a spike in demand as people avail of the last chance to own the latest version of the vehicle which first set the Land Rover ball rolling.
Last year 17,781 Defenders were produced at the car-maker’s Solihull plant but that figure is likely to be dwarfed by this year’s output.
[Editor’s Note: Our thanks to Enda Mullen and the Birmingham Post for giving AROnline permission to use this edited version of the original article.]