However iconic a name and shape the Defender has, it is no divine right to success.

Which is why details about the new car have taken so long to come out: Land Rover has had to build a business case that ensures the Defender will be a commercial success well into the next decade.

In the decade or so since the all-new Defender’s gestation started, Land Rover sales have grown exponentially, spearheaded globally by an ever-growing Range Rover line-up. Why so many Range Rovers? It’s a nameplate and brand with even greater appeal than Land Rover itself in some markets, particularly in the US, where, much to the firm’s frustration, Range Rovers are colloquially known as Rovers.

Land Rover hasn’t yet replicated that success with the Land Rover Discovery as a range of vehicles. The Discovery Sport is the company’s best-selling model around the world, but collectively the Range Rovers dominate Land Rover sales charts.

The full-sized Discovery launched last year has yet to attain the same level of popularity as the Range Rovers and the name is struggling to gain traction globally, particularly in the important US market.

Now Land Rover will begin the process of introducing a third nameplate and sub-brand to the global car market.

The Defender model name will be alien to so many: the car hasn’t been sold in the US for the past two decades and was never offered in China. Even in markets where the name is known, the indications are that the SUV’s price and positioning won’t have such obvious links with past models as, say, the first BMW Mini did with the original.

Which goes to show how much of a challenge Land Rover faced in building the Defender’s business case. 

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