The iconic British off-road utility vehicle maker, Land Rover is planning to resurrect the legendary SUV, the Defender, and India is at the center of its plans. The Defender was launched in 1983 and production of the car finally ended in January 2016. Tata Motors and Land Rover plan to make the Mini-Defender very affordable by local production and local sourcing of parts.
The Defender became a very famous vehicle during its run of 67 years. The sturdy SUV became an integral part of the British army and also was the first choice of many enthusiasts who noticed the serious off-road capabilities of the car.
JLR stopped the production citing a replacement model but as per multiple sources, the replacement model would be nothing like the good old Defender. There still is a huge demand of the Defender in the UK market and now JLR is considering to bring back the legend.
What is this about?
The new Defender will be a mini version of the car and the company is planning to manufacture the new car in India. The new Defender will start India production by 2019 – 2020. The mini-Defender carries a codename of L860. Land Rover is currently getting quotes from potential suppliers and plans to produce around 50,000 units annually for India and export markets.
Made in India
The Jaguar Land Rover, an entity owned by Tata Sons, has a facility at Chakan to assemble luxury saloons and SUVs in India. Even though JLR considered manufacturing the products in India when the company came under the Tata group but the lack of quality part suppliers made them go against the idea.
JLR says that supplier network has matured and getting quality parts is not that difficult in modern India now. Sourcing locally, the new car will be very cost effective for the Indian market. The low operation cost will also allow JLR to build quality products at low cost for the international market.
Why should Wrangler be worried?
The mini-Defender will be a very capable car. It will be equipped with all the latest techs and gizmos that are available in other Land Rover models. The mini-Defender will have as good capabilities as a Jeep Wrangler but because it will be made in India with locally sourced parts, the car will be able to enter the market at a fraction of the cost.