The Land Rover Defender is one of Jaguar Land Rover’s most iconic models, and did much to build the lore of the rugged SUV. Introduced in 1948, the Defender built a go-anywhere reputation that will become its legacy in 2015, when after 67 years the Defender will cease production.
A Land Rover spokesperson told Automotive News Europe “the Defender will go out of production by the middle of the decade due to legislative reasons.” While the spokesperson didn’t directly cite which legislation, it’s likely the current Land Rover Defender’s poor fuel economy is to blame, as governments are increasingly tightening efficiency regulations.
Land Rover has said it will replace the Defender, but the next-gen could be several years away. Max Warburton, an analyst at Bernstein Research wrote in a report that the next Defender would debut in 2019 at the earliest. “The Defender replacement remains far from ready due to a lack of volume and weak business case.” While Land Rover showed off a DC100 concept at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2011, Warburton says that car has been scrapped from the development pile. In Europe, Land Rover sold just 561 Defenders last year.
Source: Automotive News Europe (subscription required)