Land Rover might delay the all-new rugged version of the Defender. And since the new SUV was to be built in India, it possibly means that the plans for the India facility may suffer. The overall sluggish Indian market and more importantly huge dip in Tata’s sales numbers might be the reasons behind further contemplation.
John Edwards, Land Rover’s global brand director has been quoted saying that the new Defender won’t go into production in 2015 – however the current model will be discontinued due to inability to meet future norms. The new entry-level Defender model is expected to share components with a future Tata SUV, while the facility will also be used to build diesel engines for JLR.
Land Rover has elaborate plans for the future Defender range and a premium version with all-aluminum PLA architecture is still on schedule. This version will be built at the UK plant and is expected to debut in 2016.
While delay in India plans is a bit unfortunate, we doubt that JLR will ever shelve the project. The auto manufacturers have to look at Asian markets for future growth and JLR has a strong advantage in India with facilities and backing of Tata Motors.