Currently reading: LR to build next Defender in India
Land Rover wants to make new 4x4 at Tata plant in Pune in bid to cut costs

Land Rover is planning to build its all-new Land Rover Defender at the manufacturing headquarters of parent company Tata Motors in Pune, India. And it will probably send some models back to Europe for final assembly in the UK as part of a ‘reverse CKD’ operation. Land Rover already builds Freelanders in India for sale in Asia.

The new Defender plan, revealed by Tata chairman Ratan Tata in an exclusive Autocar interview, would have the twin benefits of lowering the manufacturing costs of a model Land Rover is determined to sell at affordable prices in Europe, and of locating a Defender operation close to key Asia-Pacific markets where it should sell strongly.

Read the full Ratan Tata interview in this week's Autocar magazine

The 2015 Defender, which Land Rover has decided will have body-on-frame construction as opposed to the monocoque design it also considered, will thus keep the configurability of today’s models while offering much more modern packaging, comfort, controls and dynamics.

It is likely that the Defender will use updated, lightened versions of Land Rover’s much-praised T5 ladder chassis, currently used for the Discovery and Range Rover Sport. The basic styling of Land Rover’s recent DC100 concepts is understood to be very close to that planned for the new Defender, although details such as wheels, lights, grilles and interior styling will all change.

If the Pune manufacturing plan is adopted, the Defender will share major chassis and suspension parts with a revised version of the Indian-built Tata Aria SUV, also made in Pune and due in several years’ time. The two chassis will not be identical but should be close enough in dimensions and specification to share the same manufacturing process.

The Pune Defender plan looks all the more workable because Tata recently announced plans to build back-to-back engine plants in Pune and Wolverhampton. Either should be able to provide the staple four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines a new Defender would need.

Steve Cropley

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curious_insider 30 January 2012

Re: LR to build next Defender in India

Guffria wrote:
If it's not built here in England forget it they aint getting penny of my money!

Question: when you do a supermarket shop, do you only buy items that are made in Britain?

A car is a commodity, nothing more, despite what the marketing people tell you what difference does it make where it is assembled?

Building Defender in India would make JLR more profit, which as JLR is based in the UK, is good for UK business (yes they're part of TATA but they are a business entity in the UK). Your attitude is a bit flawed, then I would suggest.....

Guffria 29 January 2012

Re: LR to build next Defender in India

If it's not built here in England forget it they aint getting penny of my money!

K1NZ 28 January 2012

Re: LR to build next Defender in India

whilest this will most likely upset Land Rover purists, i can see the benefits from it, lower prices are the most obvious which this cars needs to be if it is to be at all competitive. I think its good they will use body on frame construction, its alot tougher, easier to fix and better suited to off roading than a monoque chassis. So its not all doom and gloom, just hope moving the manufacturing of it dosesnt rob any jobs from the UK