What the heck are we going to do in flooded areas like we have here in Cumbria without a regular supply of new Land Rover Defenders, now that their production run has come to an end?
We have all gone nostalgic about the story of the Land Rover now that it’s no more, but there is a big question how the emergency services will operate without the supply of this iconic – and useful – vehicle. They can all go and buy Mercedes-Benz and Toyota products but that is, I think, a question of national pride, which will have to be sorted!
I have been talking to the local Land Rover Dealer Principal, a Mr Hadwin, at Lakeland Land Rover at Torver, Coniston, and he had put in his final order of mostly basic Defenders for local hill farmers six months ago. He hoped to get half of the order and was a bit pessimistic about the future as the ‘Tonka Toy’ DC100 replacement, due in 2019, was not the flavour of the month for the Lake District farming community.
He is concerned about the loss of the Defender as a new vehicle especially for the emergency services, who punish their Land Rover Defenders and need a steady supply of vehicles to replace wear and tear and, of course, write-offs! There is going to have to be a change of buying policy he thought in this arena, otherwise the vehicle that will rescue you from a flooded house will be a Toyota Land Cruiser!
It was a very enlightening conversation with Mr Hadwin – he thinks we are ‘driving’ into a minefield of older vehicles which will not be able to do the job and that there will be a huge demand on spares. However, although that might be fine in theory, if the country experiences a lot more extreme weather, it won’t work!
I think we are building up a problem here – and a talk with Mr Hadwin on the subject of Land Rover Defenders might well be an interesting experience!