Land Rover Defender Production Boosted With Third Shift Amid Strong Demand
Of the approximately 214,000 orders Jaguar Land Rover has at the moment of writing, about a quarter are for the Defender. Available in 90, 110, and 130 body styles, the reputable off-roader is made at a factory in Slovakia. To reduce the backlog of orders, JLR has added a third shift at the plant in Nitra where it builds the go-anywhere SUV. The Mercedes G-Class competitor has been the company’s most popular vehicle in the last seven quarters.
As it’s been the case with most automakers, supply bottlenecks have hampered JLR’s day-to-day operations. Much like high-end brands, it has prioritized vehicles with higher profit margins, hence why manufacturing at the Slovakian factory has not been affected. The Discovery is also built there but wholesale figures (sales to dealers) were at a record low in Q4 2022, at just 1,924 units.
Although the Defender is doing better than ever, one would argue the lineup is not complete. A pickup truck has been on and off ever since the current generation was launched near the end of 2019. It’s still unclear whether it’ll happen, but Nick Collins, Jaguar Land Rover’s executive director of vehicle programs, told Autocar to “watch this space” about a Defender truck. However, that was two years ago. A recent rumor indicates Mercedes will launch a G-Class ute, but nothing is official at this point.
According to JLR’s “Reimagine” plan, an electric Defender is in the works and will be out later this decade. The Discovery and Range Rover are also set to receive a new version that will do away with the combustion engine. No fewer than six EVs from Land Rover are planned to arrive this decade, with the first one scheduled for a 2024 release.
Speaking of electric models, Jaguar intends to become an EV-only brand in 2025.
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