The very last Land Rover Defender has rolled off the production line in Solihull, ending unbroken production stretching back to 1948.
The Land Rover Defender was front and centre for car news in 2015 as production levels rose to meet demand as the Defender’s production drew to an end, the 2,000,000th Defender sold at auction for a mad price and Land Rover celebrated the Defender by taking over London.
But all that was a prequel to the end of unbroken production of the Defender at Solihull which, if you take in to account the Series models, goes all the way back to 1948.
But now production of the Defender has finally ended – killed off by emissions regulations and car buyers’ desire to be cosseted – with the last ever Land Rover Defender rolling off the production line in Solihull – a Defender Heritage Edition in Grasmere Green.
Land Rover gathered together 700 Solihull staff, past and present, to say goodbye to the Defender, gathering together some of the most important and interesting Defenders too to give the Defender a proper farewell.
But even though series production of the Defender has now ended, Solihull will still be seeing the familiar shape of the Defender on the floor as Land Rover’s Heritage Restoration programme will work out of Solihull, with a team of 12 Defender experts working on restoring Defenders and Series models for sale through Land Rover’s Heritage scheme.
The next step is the all new Defender that’s expected to arrive some time in 2018 to replace the iconic Defender, although the chances are it will be built at Land Rover’s new plant in Slovakia, not at Solihull.
The new Defender isn’t going to be anything like the current Defender – or Land Rover’s Defender Concept – but it will, according to Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern, be the “…the bollocks, the absolute dog’s bollocks”!