Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that the new Land Rover Defender will be built in Slovakia, not the UK, joining Discovery production in Nitra.
Jaguar Land Rover are the last phases (we hope) of the tease for the new Land Rover Defender, with the latest installment earlier today letting us know the new Defender is off to Kenya to complete its extensive pre-production testing.
But even though us Brits feel rather proprietorial about a car that has become a British icon, we’ll have to get used to the new Defender being built not in the UK, but in Slovakia.
Just as we suspected when JLR announced they were stopping production of the Discovery in the UK, the new Defender will be built in Slovakia at JLR’s Plant in Nitra, a Plant with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles. Which is enough to cope with most of Land Rover’s production needs (as opposed to Range Rover production, which is still in the UK) if you factor in production from other JLR Plants outside the UK.
So the UK says goodbye to a car built here since just after WW2 in Solihull, although the ‘sweetener’ is that JLR say the Defender’s engines will still be built in the UK at its engine plant in Wolverhampton. But as the only other place JLR builds engines is in their JV with Chery in China, it was a bit of a Hobson’s.
JLR do say they plan ‘significant investment in Solihull to build the next generation of Land Rover and Range Rover models. But don’t hold your breath on the Land Rover bit.