Land Rover has embarked on a project that is its most ambitious yet. It seeks to create a replacement for the Defender. Land Rover’s new global brand director, John Edwards, said last week that the British carmaker is “serious” about finding a replacement for the Defender and that the initial results of the project could be unveiled within the next two to three years.
According to an Autocar report, Tata (the owner of Land Rover) will be investing a huge amount in the project.
It’s expected that the replacement will be offered in a broad range of styles such as station wagons, pick-ups, and bespoke specials for commercial customers.
It will also have a new platform as well as factory space. The first in this lineup of new models is expected to start production by the middle of 2015. Land Rover is already on the strategy phase of the Defender project.
This means that work has begun on the engineering, design and marketing divisions and that the company is determining the number and the variety as well as the expected sales volumes. Autocar believes that as soon as a plan is prepared for the new Defender, the company will have a concept ready for the early part of 2013.
Even if Land Rover was only able to sell slightly more than 18,000 Defenders in 2010, it has not let go of the belief that the model defines Land Rover. The company decided to invest a lot in a traditional Land Rover based on a massive market research program that broke up the global SUV into three segments -- luxury, leisure and utility.
The global utility SUV segment is expected to account for 3.25 million sales annually, a number that’s predicted to increase by 25% by the year 2017. On the other hand, the global luxury SUV segment is anticipated to reach two million sales and it may go up 35% by 2017. Meanwhile, the leisure sector made up for about eight million units in 2010.