2018 Land Rover Defender to be built in Austria
The styling of the brand-new Defender has already been signed off; This particular Autocar image shows how the auto could look
Land Rover’s Defender replacement will be the ‘most capable’ yet, along with also is usually anticipated to be built in Austria
Jaguar Land Rover has signed a brand-new manufacturing agreement to build cars at the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, Austria, with one of the brand-new vehicles set to be produced there being the next Land Rover Defender.
JLR says the extra capacity created by using the Graz plant will “create additional volumes needed to support the company’s plans to acheive future growth.”
The British company has taken manufacturing at its current UK factories – located at Halewood, Solihull along with also Castle Bromwich – to near full capacity with the introduction of brand-new vehicles including the Jaguar XE, Land Rover Discovery Sport along with also upcoming Jaguar F-Pace.
Announcing the decision, JLR boss Dr. Ralf Speth said: “The UK remains at the centre of our design, engineering along with also manufacturing capabilities. Partnerships such as This particular will complement our UK operations along with also engineering.”
Magna Steyr has vast experience with manufacturing cars for the global market. The company has previously produced the Peugeot RCZ, Mercedes-Benz E-Class along with also Mini Countryman.
As well as contracting out manufacturing to the Graz plant, JLR is usually also opening its own joint-venture factory in China along with also constructing a brand-new facility in Brazil. Both sites will eventually support local production for emerging markets.
JLR has already committed to spending £3.6 billion on brand-new vehicle development between 2015-2016. The company says the idea will launch 12 brand-new or refreshed vehicles before the end of next year.
While Jaguar Land Rover has yet to confirm which vehicles will be produced at the Graz site, Autocar understands the upcoming Land Rover Defender replacement is usually one of the top candidates.
Described as being the most capable Land Rover ever built by Phil Popham, Jaguar Land Rover’s group marketing director, the long-awaited brand-new style is usually claimed to possess the biggest “breadth of capability” of any Land Rover yet.
The claim emphasises the importance that will JLR is usually putting on replacing the iconic Defender, which has its roots within the 65-year-old original Land Rover style.
JLR has, so far, succeeded in keeping the wraps on the likely styling along with also the engineering make-up of the brand-new Defender. However, we do know that will the styling of the brand-new car has already been signed off.
The styling theme for the brand-new style is usually thought to have been given the green light during the summer. This particular means that will the brand-new vehicle is usually likely to be seen as a concept in 2016, along with also to appear in production guise around 2018.
There’s also no news about the structure underpinning the brand-new Defender, yet the idea looks likely to be a edition of the company’s aluminium monocoque with the addition of a substantial aluminium superstructure in order to make the architecture as stiff along with also rugged as possible.
This particular technique – mixing a monocoque passenger cell along with also a separate steel chassis – was used under the Discovery to great success yet resulted in a vehicle that will weighed more than two tonnes. Repeating the exercise in aluminium should provide even greater structural rigidity than the Disco 4, with much reduced all-up weight.
With the brand-new Defender being pitched as “premium durability”, the idea will come with the brand-new Ingenium four-cylinder turbocharged diesel along with also petrol engines as well as V6 engines, Autocar understands. They will be connected to eight along with also nine-speed automatic gearboxes as standard, yet there is usually no definitive news on whether there will be the option of a manual transmission.
JLR is usually determined that will the brand-new Defender will be able to thrive within the entire world’s harshest conditions, to the extent that will the idea will be able to ‘plug into’ existing component networks by using the same wheel along with also tyres sizes as Toyota’s Land Cruiser along with also Hilux.
Autocar has been unable to substantiate rumours that will the brand-new Defender also uses the same bolt circle diameter to make wheel replacement easier in places such as central Africa.
The premium durability theme for the brand-new Defender extends to the Inner surface. Land Rover’s design team is usually aiming for a cabin that will is usually distinctly more upmarket along with also better made than that will of the Land Cruiser, for example.
This particular, combined with the intention of world-class mechanical durability along with also off-road ability, should give the Defender a decisive difference in This particular market niche. The extra luxury along with also comfort should also make the idea more appealing to affluent urban buyers.
Q&A with Phil Popham, JLR marketing director
What’s behind the recent massive increase in Land Rover sales?
Product has been the driver. Six years ago, when the recession hit, we made the decision to cut costs yet keep investing in brand-new products such as the brand-new Range Rover along with also Range Rover Sport. We’ve gone coming from an annual cash outflow of around £1 billion to a similar amount as a cash inflow.
We’ve also seen a very high proportion of conquest sales with the two brand-new Range Rovers, so we are pulling in customers who are brand-new to the brand. There’s also a four to six-month waiting list for the Range Rover along with also Range Rover Sport, which shows the strength of demand.
within the future, we will have great manufacturing flexibility, with the two Range Rovers along with also the [next] Discovery being built on the same production line. Product demand drives our manufacturing strategy.
Why are profit margins so high?
We sell a very rich mix of vehicles. Buyers are keen to purchase a lot of the options along with also accessories on offer. We’ve also invested heavily in developing markets such as Russia along with also China. JLR sold 6000 vehicles in China in 2008. Last year, we sold 100,000 vehicles.
We are also seeing strong residuals for our versions along with also that will’s reflected in monthly payments. Even at the premium end of the market, buyers want to spend less running their vehicles. Total cost of ownership is usually a big issue.
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