Next Land Rover Defender Could Be Built In Eastern Europe
The upcoming rebirth of the Land Rover Defender might see the vehicle being built outside the U.K. – far away from where it has traditionally been constructed. Reports suggest Jaguar Land Rover is considering adding an additional assembly plant in Eastern Europe to help relieve pressure on its U.K.-based plants.
The news comes from a JLR insider who talked with AutoCar about the move. The insider confirmed the new plant will build vehicles based on JLR’s new aluminum architecture, which should include the rumored, all-new Defender.
The new Defender, known within the company as “Project Darwin” and codenamed L663, is expected to be the primary product of the new plant. However, as JLR’s growth continues to rise, the facility might be home to more than just the Defender. Among the likely candidate is the upcoming Land Rover Discovery 5, or LR5 as it would be called in the U.S. Codenamed L462, the new Disco will finally undergo the aluminum transformation, helping drop weight while adding fuel efficiency.
The plant location is said to be currently under investigation, though two locations are showing promise. The first is near the town of Gyor, Hungary while the second is in an unspecified area in Poland. The Gyor location shows much promise thanks to the established supplier base already in place that services Audi in construction of the TT Coupe and its four-cylinder engines.
While this move might not be conventional for a company with such British heritage, the global economy has proven automakers are no longer confined by geography.
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Why it matters
The Defender is Land Rover’s most iconic model, with its history dating back to the late 1940s as the automaker’s first vehicle. It was at the famed Solihull factory that the first Series I Land Rovers roared to life in 1948 and where the current Defender is finishing up its production run. While it’s sad to see such a lineage abandoned, the logistics surrounding the move make sense, especially as JLR finds itself making more vehicles than ever.
Now we just look forward to the new Defender and Discovery models.