The all-new Land Rover Defender family, due in 2015, could become the marque's biggest-selling model, according to brand boss John Edwards. The firm is targeting the success of the Toyota Hilux, which sold 549,000 units worldwide in 2011.
Today’s Defender sold just under 20,000 units. Edwards says Land Rover is being “encouraged to look at it as a 20-year plan with global potential”.
The new Defender will be developed into a line-up with “wide appeal and a low cost base”, and Edwards’ ambition is “to become a global maker, not a UK maker selling globally”.
The clear signal that the new model needs both a low cost base and a global manufacturing footprint suggests that the majority of new Defenders will be built outside the UK.
The company also seems serious about making the new model genuinely in the mould of the original. “We’re talking to sub-Saharan Africa buyers about cost of ownership and ease of maintenance,” Edwards added. “That it’s functional, durable and affordable are central to our thoughts. The engineers and designers are really getting engaged.”