In January Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) stopped production of the Land Rover Defender. After 68 years the last Defender rolled off the production line.
An iconic English vehicle has been terminated by an Indian steel Company. Tata Steel bought both the Jaguar and Land Rover brands in 2008. Since 1948 more than two million Land Rovers have been produced. Defender number 2,000,000 sold at Bonhams for 400k.
The JLR website still praises the qualities of the Defender. The JLR 2015 Annual Report shows that annual retail sales of Defenders went up by 19% compared to 2014, whereas the sales of Jaguar sports cars went down by 4.5%. It was very successful.
Why was the Defender discontinued ? The Defender could never meet the silly environmental and safety regulations imposed by the EU and the USA. The rumours of a replacement Defender have fizzled out.
I bought my first Land Rover in 1984. I spent very little maintaining it and four years later I sold it at the price I paid. That was cheap motoring.
Until 2016 you either loved the Land Rover Defender or you hated it. However, nostalgia and the lack of an alternative have boosted the prices of used Defenders and the demand can only grow.
Knowing that production was ending, I spent most of 2014 looking for a good ‘un. There were very few that had not been messed about with. Why do people want drug dealer wheels, tractor tyres, winches and enough spot lights to illuminate a night club ?
After a lot of searching I found a low mileage, unmolested TDi 90 just a few miles away. Since I bought it, five people have knocked on the front door asking if it is for sale. It’s not. It’s my fishing wagon 🙂