The new Land Rover Defender family due in 2015, is expected to become the company’s biggest selling model.
John Edwards, the company’s CEO, declared that the firm plans to follow Toyota Hilux’s success, which in 2011 sold 549,000 units worldwide. The present Defender model managed to sell 20,000 units.
Edwards says Land Rover is being “encouraged to look at it as a 20-year plan with global potential”.
The new Defender is to have a wide appeal and a low cost base, the CEO hoping that the model will become a global maker, not a UK maker selling globally.
“We’re talking to sub-Saharan Africa buyers about cost of ownership and ease of maintenance,” Edwards added. “That it’s functional, durable and affordable are central to our thoughts. The engineers and designers are really getting engaged.”
For the 2015 Defender the company tries to combine the Defender’s appeal as an agricultural vehicle with the modern design and luxury demanded by the majority of buyers. Since 1948, when the Series Land Rovers from which the Defender was developed were launched, the model has become synonymous with off-roading and been sold all over the world.
Added John Edwards, the company’s Global Brand Director: “This isn’t a production-ready concept but the beginning of a four-year journey to design a relevant Defender for the 21st century. We plan to engage with existing and potential customers to help us finalise the details of the new vehicle.”