Opinion : Defender, an ex-insider’s view

Land Rover Defender 2020
Land Rover Defender 2020

On reading Keith’s piece on the new Defender, I had to comment. If you have read my other blogs you will know that I did have a connection with Rover and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). I have been retired a number of years now and have no knowledge of future strategy, so any comments of mine are opinion.

Over the years I worked on three different programmes to replace Defender (BMW and Ford days). These were fully styled, and engineered to a fairly complete level. Each of these efforts failed in the same way: the business case was just not there. It was just not possible to develop a scenario that would deliver a credible Defender replacement and give a profit margin on each vehicle sold. Something needed to change to make this viable.

There was a desire to replace the Icon, it just didn’t seem possible. Icon you say? Well, yes – and easily demonstrated: BMW recognised that the Rover Group had two vehicle icons that were identified worldwide: the Mini and the Land Rover Defender. In those days, before widespread use of the Internet, if you walked into a large newsagents you would see all the mainstream car magazines and also some specialist car magazines… the odd BMW one, but mainly multiples of Land Rover and Mini titles. This was one of the reasons why the Rover Group was of interest to BMW – people loved these two cars.

The new Land Rover Defender does everything that Defender did and more, it is a genuine successor to icon. Its design is rightly understated, but it is obviously a Defender. The engineering is not understated – this is also right. The Engineering Team at Gaydon have done a fantastic job. It would have been so easy to use the outgoing T5 chassis, stick on a Defender-looking body and sell it at a lower starting price. Those Defender die-hards may say that this would be more like a credible replacement. This would have been a route to extinction of the Icon.

Land Rover 2020
Land Rover 2020

Instead, we have this halo product that will be the starting point for many new products – a Defender Sport could be a high-volume, entry-level product for the whole brand. Like MINI?

So, what changed to make this Defender viable? It had to sit at a higher price point in the market place – and have some of the toys that those customers expect. The other JLR strategy was to move to a lower-cost economy for manufacturing. I don’t know what the marketing volumes are, it would have been very difficult to predict high volumes, premium off roaders are not that common! The programme will be profitable at relatively low production volumes.

The hope for JLR is that buyers just have to have one and volumes increase – remember people love this car. I want one!

For all those people who think this is not a Defender – it was not possible to get the Defender you imagined – a low cost, go anywhere, farmer’s truck that is indestructible, wait and see if the Ineos effort is ever a reality. However, it will need to be built in either huge volumes and marketed at £20k, or sub-10K per annum and sold at £50k+. Neither of these seem likely…

Well done JLR, this product is outstanding. The Icon is back!

40 Comments

  1. Well said, a real dose of reality – We often hear people bemoaning the fact that there are no really simple cheap cars anymore and that even super-minis are over complicated and over priced. The reality is there is no mass market for cheap cars anymore. That would result in low volumes being chased by a low cost low/zero margin product. It just doesn’t work!

    • Mitsubishi, and Toyota seem to be doing very well out if the HiLux and L200.. the market is there, yet they have made yet another Seriously Ugly Vehicle for the school run. If they had been serous about replacing the defender they should have aimed it to take on the HiLux, instead they have taken aim at the X5 which is a market already over filled which ghastly SUVs of which JLR already have the Range Rover, Discovery, Evoke and the F-Pace, what need does this new ‘defender’ or should I say ‘Pretender’ fill that those do not already.. none. They should either have let the name die or aimed squarely at the farmers car market..

      • I thought I had made it quite clear that Land Rover had demonstrated a number of times that it was not possible to make the vehicle that you suggest and also make it a Defender and make a profit. This is a business not a charity.
        Also, if a company had an iconic vehicle – identified all over the world why would they choose to let it die? How would the shareholders feel about that strategy?

        • Sure, but if Toyota and Mitsubishi can do it (HiLux & L200), why can’t JLR? I’m not disagreeing, I just want to understand the difference?

        • The have chosen to let it die, a slow painful horrid death. Why is a true replacement not possible? You say it’s not a viable profit making possibility, I say along with it seems Toyota and Mitsubishi that’s rubbish, what is it that they know that Land Rover does not, they make thousands of what a new defender should have been, and profit from doing so. All this ‘pretender’ does is cannibalise sales from the Discovery.. that’s not a good way to do business

      • Hilux etc are possible because there is a parts bin from light commercial vehicles to source parts and factories in SE Asia to assemble them. What you are asking for is a Tata Telcoline not a Defender.

        • Please, Toyota and Mitsubishi do not claim that their products will do what Defender does. The buyers of these products also know this. These are not a Defender alternative – people do not think this and it is far from true. Land Rover needed to add all the Defender stuff to make this scenario work – and increase the price accordingly. At that price point, profit margin was gone.
          You may need to trust me on this – they were not quick to give up on this either LR tried a number of times. It just did not work.
          If JLR made a Hilux competitor what would be its selling point? Why would people buy it? This would be the pretender.
          If you read some of the technical reviews on New Defender it is clear that this has been engineered to deal with high structural inputs – like its predecessor, and also its off-road credentials are extremely high, straight out of the box.
          Old Defender was difficult to live with – it was old! But it still did all the things it needed to do to make it that iconic vehicle with a genuine purpose.
          New Defender will be much easier to live with – its a modern vehicle , but it also does all the things that old Defender did.

          • Parts bin stuff is also a key point. Even if JLR had that kit of parts why would they choose to compete with Hilux etc? All these competitors have economies of scale and are made in low cost countries and have small car margins.

          • As I understand it, Land Rover has never been a commercial vehicle manufacturer, even in “The” Land Rover’s 60s & 70s heyday Rover were unable to capitalise on its potential. Today, JLR is entirely geared up for a retail sales and distribution system – it’s simply impossible to branch out and muscle-in on a wholly different market without enormous investment.

            The complexity of today’s, global, vehicle market precludes the simple notion of coming up with something appealing which might catch-on once word gets round. The new TVR enterprise demonstrates how difficult it is to achieve even modest, low-volume ambitions. The market is saturated with good products, and with complex legislation. Success depends on the banking muscle behind your finance offers, not the quality of design or engineering.
            In the end, it all boils down to a simple question: “How many can we afford to build and how long till it pays us back”. The answer, of course, is anything but straightforward

            Issigonis designed an economy car for small families which accidentally became a sporting hero and fashion model. Maurice Wilkes produced a farm appliance which excelled on expeditions and in military service. Both are remembered for activities beyond their original purpose and gained legendary status by living beyond their natural lifespan, more by accident than design, finding a profitable niche but no longer competitive or appealing for the mass market.

            As with the re-invented Mini, trying to capture every facet of the original’s appeal would result in a dog’s dinner (satisfying nobody) so JLR had to choose which aspects of the original the new Defender would carry forward to suit the realities of 21st Century motoring and commerce. This will sell to those who would like a Defender but have no use for a museum piece. Anybody who prefers the original has a huge choice of old models to choose from, so everyone’s a winner.

            What remains to be seen is how the big Discovery fits in and how will a manufacturer of big, thirsty off-roaders fare in tomorrow’s world? Will we see Discovery estate cars? Perhaps Discovery will evolve into Land Rover’s electric spin-off?

          • The new defender does all the things the old one did?? can it offer the bewildering variety of variations the old one did? NO because it has no chassis, so you can’t, build a pickup, crew cab or any of the other variations. Can I fill it with hay bales? (possibly but it won’t do any good to the interior). Fair enough the old one wasn’t selling in the market it was designed for, the market it made its name in.. the new one might be great, it probably is, but its no defender, and an insult to the original, it’s yet another Poseurs SUV and for that reason it should not carry the name, the name should be allowed to die if its not to be on a genuine replacement. As for the parts bin.. yes they have it, the old defender axles and drive train just put a more civilised body on it, and modern engines job done, the majority of the development costs were amortized decades ago, just make it reliable that’s why the original target market moved away.

  2. A question: if the Wilks brothers had not come up with the orginal Land Rover design, what would the British armed forces have used from 1949 through to the current day? Would the Champ have been even thought of without the military Land Rover as the springboard for another light military 4 x 4? Perhaps the War Department would have commissioned a British road vehicle manufacturer to design and build a British version of the American Jeep, but altered (enlarged?) to meet the needs of our armed forces at the time. What will the MoD buy to replace the Defenders the armed forces now use? Is the new one really suited to military use?

  3. Dacia might disagree. I think there may also be a backlash developing against over-complexity, eg touchscreen controls where drivers actually prefer to have sepearate traditional ICE and HVAC controls.

  4. Firstly – oh my multiple Gods, the back is even worse than the front which takes some doing. It’s not been hit with the ugly stick, it’s been hit with the ugly steam drop hammers that you’d use to make the armour belt on a Tillman IV-2.

    No, no and again no.

    It’s not a valid replacement for the Defender in the same way as the NaziMini is a replacement for the Mini. The NaziMini is huge, unwieldy and unpleasant to look at and in some versions is bigger in every respect apart from interior space than my Wolseley 18\85, which for anyone unfamiliar is roughly the size of a Ford Focus hatch. A 9X or even a Hyundai i10 is a Mini replacement. The sprawling sauropod turd that is the NaziMini is most emphatically not. And for those who think I’m dropping a Godwin btw, the Quant family are effectively running Bavarian Money Wasters as it’s biggest shareholders and oh look, they owned it in the Days of Goose Stepping Past. Want a few thousand 801D/T aero engines to play “whack a lavochkin”? You talked to them. This is just one of the many reasons I absolutely loathe the things. Oversized, derivative, ugly, dull, and designed in every miserable detail to drag money out of ill educated one-speed-wonders who wouldnt know engineering elegance if it put a panzergranate.40 through their skulls from 250yds.

    The Defender was miserable to drive on the road – it was like a 2 tonne beetleback vanguard with crossplies, worn kingpins and bald tyres – on black ice, slathered with WD40 at the best of times. I drove one once on the road and I never want to do that again, ever.
    But I took the thing off road and it’s brilliant, it might creak like a tea clipper in a gale, smoke like the Blucher on lignite and the engine has all the NVH refinement of a tomcat recorded having his nuts slammed in a patio door 2500 times a minute.. But that isn’t the point. It really can go anywhere.

    It’s simple and rugged – it doesn’t have silly electrical crap on it – if something goes wrong it’s fixable miles from nowhere – can you imagine taking the new one out on the Seregeti at 3am? Something goes wrong with it and you’ll be coming home as a pile of hyena poop.

    So to replace this you need a mechanically simple, reliable, unencumbered with electrical crap vehicle with bombproof engines and iconic, or at least, reasonable styling. Sure you can slap on electric windows and air conditioning and leather seats etc – that’s fine if that’s what customers want.

    But what you’ve come up with is another sprawling sauropod turd. It looks like it was styled by a three year old girl who’s been having rather too much fun with her mothers antidepressants. As far as I can tell it’s got every single bit of “0-to-gone-wrong-in-15-minutes” electronic assistance gubbins that can be strapped (zip-tied) into it. If you can’t be bothered to learn how to drive off road, don’t do it. I have said for YEARS that everyone should learn to drive exclusively on cars like the Sceptre, ADO17, Farina, etc etc – simply because you have to *drive* them, you are responsible, you don’t have electrocrap doing all the work for you. And oh joy a hybrid version of a supposedly proper working off road vehicle – yeah, that’s going to work in the muddy wet season in Madagascar when it’s a toss up as to which tries to kill you first, the malaria, the snakes, the water bourne parasites, or the way things are going, the zombie lemurs…

    It would have been perfectly acceptable to engineer an updated version of the old bodyshell that didn’t have panel gaps a pterosaur could fly though and fit a mechanical 4×4 system that wasn’t hewn out somewhere around the time of the Thera eruption, and suspension/steering that wasn’t point & pray with more lean than an Aldi meat counter. It would have been perfectly acceptable to make a pared back aluminium version as a “Lightweight” (just don’t tell Miss G Thunburg). And then leave it at that. It would have been especially fine to put in an engine that doesn’t make a Petter hit’n’miss seem refined (and if you have any mechanical sympathy don’t watch the attempts to turbocharge them on YouTube).

    If you’d have done that and sold it for £35-40k, you’d have had people beating down the door.

    Can you tell I’m disappointed and disgusted? I want you to be able to tell I’m disappointed and disgusted. But I am very much not surprised.

    We could have had a competent rugged powerful reliable* field repairable off road vehicle that would be a tribute and a viable upgrade to the Land-rover Defender. IE what was promised when this miserable spavined heap of electronic turdery was first mooted. It *could* have been the literal only one in its class.

    What did we get? Another miserable overcomplicated pastiche – it’s the French pre dreadnought battleships school of design with none of the talent. It’s literally like waiting for Richard Dawkins to pop his clogs and then flattening Milton-Keynes (not an entirely unpleasant concept to be sure) to build the biggest Catholic cathedral on the planet..

    And the saddest part? Designing a viable car that pushes the boundaries like the original Mini or the 9X requires real engineering talent and out of the box thinking even now.

    Building a Defender or any large 4×4 is by comparison simple. Bloody big box for the passengers, smaller box for the mechanicals, a ladder chassis, springs, wheels at each corner, a few differentials and propshafts, a transfer case, gearbox and some other bits and bobs. It’s not rocket science – it’s only above sharpened rock science because you can’t really make crankshafts out of granite (unless you are a Russian YouTube nutter, wooden pistons FTW).

    This thing is an embarrassment, not a triumph, it’s just another one-speed-wonderwagen to get stuck behind and to make me wish for the nth time that Wolseley did an option pack that involved a PIAT projector.

    *for a given value of reliability of course.

    • Trouble is everything you hate everyone else seems to like. As there is only one of you and lots ofb everyone else I think your stuffed. Is it really necessary to refer to the Mini – a car -as N**I?

      • If the cap fits as regards the Mini and since historical facts support it, then yes, BMWs biggest shareholders are it’s former owners and they are only former owners because of the Nazi period, although to be scrupulously fair, there really wasn’t an opt out clause . There is the added advantage that it’s useful shorthand for bulbous-overweight-ugly-pointless-pastishe-missing-the-whole-apparent-reason-for-its-own-existance-pos. The Fiat 500 is a godawful pile of design flaws waiting to be exploited – like the bad ride, horrible ergonomics, fartiair engines (that throw their valves out of the pram if they don’t get the right oil) – but at least they have some size commonality with the original model, adjusted for age. The Mini is like trying to do a tribute to HMS Canopus and coming out with something that’d make the Yamato go running home crying for her mummy. Especially that orrible Countryman thing, that really is the crowning turd in the water pipe.
        As for the “Defender” it is to quote “I tried to scream but I barfed” ugly. It’s a horrible mess, those steels look like someone took one of those cheap little car models and stuck one of the wheels on the photocopier and that was the design process. I will admit, as I suspected, that it looks better in “110“ form but it’s still butt ugly.
        I could forgive it this if mechanically it was an up to date but simple and easily maintained vehicle. It’s not, it’s just another flavour of over complicated under reliable JLR special. What everyone seems to have failed to realise is, that like someone who drives a classic day to day people who drive Defenders off road know how to do so – they don’t need the extraneous electrocrap – they can see at a glance where the best route is. The ones who need the support are the ones who have no experience at all.
        The problem is that these people are already amply catered for. Another WallyWagon isn’t necessary.
        What this should have been was a pared back vehicle with the ride and interior opulence (if wanted) of the disco/range with an updated but entirely mechanical and user repairable version of the old Defender concept. So a manual/auto tiptronic available – good quiet powerful engines (ie something that wasn’t designed when Tony Benn was in short trousers) – *the* best mechanical or low complexity 4×4 system you can put on it – and zero electronic off road support systems other than electrical lockers and maybe electroselectable 4×4/4×2.

        I don’t think that’s an unfair assessment. Fix what needs to be fixed, or taken out and old yeller’d (interior, ride, engines, aerodynamics (ie can we have some), build quality) and upgrade the rest like in some ways I have my Wolseley. AWD updates, electrical upgrades, safety updates and so on. Fix the parts that don’t work and massage and upgrade the parts that do but are a little primative like.

        And this goes for everything car designers. Please please please bloody stop with the touchscreens. They’re not big and they’re not clever. Humans have muscle memory for a reason, use it and drivers will be safer, is it unsurprising to anyone else that soon after we get touchscreens we get auto braking? Of course we do because every one is now playing dodge the touchscreen idiot and no one is concentrating on the road. Control dynamics should be as simple as possible while providing full functionality with the best safety of operation – touchscreens ain’t it. They’re borderline OK in an MBT but not in a Supremely Unnecessary Vehicle, speaking of which – seen the new Nissan Super-Puke? They actually passed the car design event horizon and made it worse. Kudos Nissan – I didn’t think it was humanly possible.

        • Agree with most of what you say, but let’s drop the ‘Nazi’ references, it isn’t relevant and doesn’t help your credibility, or your argument.

      • Am with you Paul, I found the post actually offensive and am not easily offended.
        Hate only consumes the hater and from the length of the post ….

    • That was an epic word salad of a post, but because you decided to drop the word Nazi in on the third paragraph I realise that I wasn’t remotely interested in reading the rest of it.

      I imagine JLR will be happy that they don’t have to worry about you buying anything from them, lest you “accidentally” make some borderline-racist comment about them being Indian-owned.

  5. No. I’m sorry. Referring to the MINI, a lazy caricature more than a car in the same way as the new Defender is silly. But referring to the MINI as the NaziMini is, to coin a phrase, disappointing and disgusting. I’m embarrassed for you. That goes way beyond a car forum. Get a grip.

  6. I use a series 2 quite regularly. Other vehicles I have include an occassionally used Defender 300Tdi, a being put back together early Freelander and two early Range Rovers, one with a 236″ 4 cylinder Perkins, one with a 247″ 6 cylinder Perkins..the Range Rovers and series are the ones I’ll be keeping, as they don’t have anything I don’t need…But if Land Rover made something similar now, I wouldn’t be buying one until they were available cheap second hand and suspect that not many would buy them. The new one seems to be aimed at people that might actually buy it, which has to be a good thing for JLR, shame it isn’t made in the UK though.

  7. Sorry, it isn’t a replacement for the Defender, and fair enough if that was never the intention. But then don’t call it a Defender and pretend that it is. It is squarely aimed at a very different market segment.

  8. Well, Jemma’s diatribe may be over the top, but I agree with the sentiments in broad terms. The modern MINI has absolutely no connection with its illustrious predecessor, just as this “Defender” has no connection in terms of design or potential usage with the original Land Rover . Worst of all, it seems to me to offend against one of the fundamental principles of running a successful business : don’t compete with your own products

    • Indeed. LR’s range is starting to look like the old GM – 5 different divisional flavours of the same platform. The “upscale Cadillac” and the “performance oriented Pontiac “ but when you drill down it’s all the same basic vehicle crowding each other in the market.
      At least this one doesn’t have an offset number plate….

      • Nothing wrong with an offset number plate… unless you use a rectangular-shaped plate rather than a square one on a large flabby surface area, which then creates a greater perception of visual imbalance.

  9. All the new Land Rovers looks the same for me. New “defender” is just new LR piece of growing LR*s SUV’s army and it has nothing do with real offroaders like Jeep Wrangler. If you look DC100 concept and this new one, diffrencies are really minimal. LR spend 8 years doing nothing.

  10. The starting price of 35 grand isn’t that expensive compared to many other cars – it’s about where a 3 Series starts now. A lot of these will be sold on a PCP deal, and LR will sell A LOT of them. I would like to see a 25 grand loss leader Farmers Special – vinyl seats, no AC, cheap radio, and then we’ll see how they sell, or not. As it stands, this is another profitable string in LR’s bow.

    The L200, Navara etc have that market sewn up.

  11. I agree with Offender there must be plenty of people that would buy a basic farmers special to actually do a job and NOT just to pose in outside the school gates or sports club !! after all it was these folk and the military that were the back bone of the sales for decades long before the term yuppie was invented.
    Do away with AirCon, Central Locking, Alloy wheels, SatNav Electric Roof, USB/Ipod Sockets and even Electric Windows we survived before and I am sure the product would suffer a lot less on warranty claims.

    • Timbo and Offender, can you imagine going to an investor, you ask for a large amount of cash to produce this stripped out version. You need to tool up loads of new parts including a non CDL door latch ( not seen one of those developed for 30 years). Your selling price is under the UK market leader L200 “plenty people will buy it ” or ” lets see how they sell” . What is your margin he says, ” oh its a loss leader”. So, you have a factory making these at an acceptable margin, but you want to invest in this new version and sell it at a loss? Every time you make one of these, you could have made one with profit – needing no investment……..

      To get a better idea about what Defender really is, read the top gear report – 13 things you didn’t know about the new Defender. Try one of the Land Rover experience days, the one at Solihull is excellent – or at least look on YouTube.
      PS the farmers I know have air con in their tractors!

  12. I’m not thinking of a stripped out version so much as a commercial working version. Get LR back into the UN market the aid agencies etc. It’s a great advertisement.
    Also the big commercial farmers in Australia and Brazil are not small they’re massive enterprises. Offering a functional package – it doesn’t have be cheap just practical and robust. I’m thinking of an Aussie geologist or mine supervisor who wants to use it as a mobile office with connectivity, plug in for his tough book etc. Could be good business

  13. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=utZRGNCeZFM

    Exactly what I was trying to say, from an expert. The electrocrap will be it’s Achilles Heel. They’ve expertly made this the worst of both worlds because they have made a surprisingly competent off roader with really good specs that people will really want, which leaves the old car in the dust in some respects, and then made it so complicated the thing is dealer fix only – air suspension sensors you have to calibrate by computer? In the backend of Wherethehellistan? With, I can guarantee, dealer only software? Yeah, that’s going to work.
    Oh, and the latest on the Australian Range Rover case? – it cost them a cool aus$500,000 in damages and court costs – over shoddy build quality and reliability. Where have we seen that before.

    And let me be extremely clear. The Quants ran BMW at least between 1933-1945 as owners (I’m simply too ill at the moment to spend time researching this) and produced aero engines, motorcycles and who knows what else for the war effort – and were very nearly tried as war criminals as a result. They were then ousted on the basis of being “Nazi snuggling war profiteering *bleep*holes” and the company was removed from their direct physical control by the allied powers. This of course didn’t stop them taking a controlling interest via shareholding in the company which effectively gives them the same power at one remove. They are generally accepted as being the “Black Sun” behind the Bavarian Money Wasters empire and the NaziMini is a product of that empire. So you were saying? To be fair they’re slightly less evil that VW (Dieselgate and Monkeygate (Monkeygate is really impressive, if only for the arseholery aforethought that went into it) but only slightly. Kind of the Beverly Allitt of car manufacturers to VWs Jimmy Saville.

    JLR could have had an absolute classic on their hands with this and like their ancestors they’ve let it slip through their fingers. It happens every single time. And yes there’s a coily version coming – woo hoo – but did you notice the little problem with that on the video?

    It would not have been difficult to put *most* of this into a modified and upgraded Defender chassis – sans electrocrap (except possibly a limited version of the terrain system). That way there could have been a highly upgraded upgradable dead giraffe carrying 4×4, that wouldn’t have you coming home as hyena poop – and this electrocrap filled Chelsea Tractor – and you *know* that despite the fact these are apparently surprisingly good off road vehicles that 90% will end up dealing with nothing more taxing than high curbs and speed bumps, at 25mph. JLR will go the way of the Leyland/MGR dodo if they keep on like this.

    If Ineos can get vehicles on the ground and they’re even slightly reliable – there are going to be a lot of red faces at JLR – because if they’re good they’ll pop up everywhere.

    • What were we saying? Erm…I think plenty of people are aware of the Quants’ (sic) involvement with National Socialism. In fact, isn’t it the case that most of German industry has a very dark story to tell from that point in the 20th century? This is 2019. And this year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the first mission to the moon that left the earth aboard the Saturn V. Many workers in Oxford and Sunderland keep their families fed and mortgages paid (for now) by assembling cars for BMW and Nissan. The Saturn V was obviously the brainchild of Wernher von Braun so I guess Neil Armstrong rode aboard the NaziRocket? And perhaps those workers in Oxford and Sunderland need to think of themselves as traitors to their forefathers for building NaziMinis and ImperialQashqais? Honestly, I know you’re embarrassed by what you blurted out in your earlier post. While I don’t agree with you on the new Defender, your views on cars are kinda meaningless when you come up with nonsense like that. The reference to ‘Wherethehellistan’ is pretty revealing too. Perhaps you should refrain from any further comment for now and concentrate on getting well…?

      • Your last sentence, Jonty Hall, perhaps applies to you as well ? Most of us read this board for enjoyment, not to witness ( rather inept) prize fights going on

        • Your last sentence, Christopher Storey, might be better directed at our friend who seems hell-bent on reliving the Second World War? If we could just concentrate on the cars, that would be simply marvellous. Many thanks.

  14. I’m a bit puzzled as to JLR’s approach to investment decisions. A T5-based real Defender with a semi- independent chassis and fleet customers would do steady business for 20 years. A trendy toy like this will need replacing in 5.

    I’d love to see their business case for the XE – it was an all new chassis and body but it sells 20k a year tops at modest prices for a short life. In a market in which JLR have never played. With no installed owner base to sell to. With the best car in the world as opposition.

    The Gclass starts at 90k in the UK. Real offroaders don’t need to be cheap. Gerry’s New Beetle on Stilts is just a toy for a season or two,

Add to the debate: leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.