The off-on-off again saga of the Land Rover Defender is back on again this morning if you read today’s Sunday Times business section. Or still off (and never actually on) if you listen to what Land Rover’s spokesman is saying.

What to think? Let’s start with what’s been reported today.

In an interview with “billionaire industrialist” Jim Ratcliffe, The Times reveals his claims that has met JLR CEO Ralf Speth to discuss his plans, his confidence in addressing the problems of reliability, safety and efficiency that effectively ended JLR’s production of the Defender, and his optimism for creating a manufacturing base - possibly near a port in the north, possibly abroad - with a sales target of 10-20,000 cars a year.

The Land Rover spokesman last week said:  "There is no way this is happening. We're not going to let anyone build our Defender." And today he just reiterated that statement.

So how does a man clever enough to have amassed a fortune of £3.2 billion keep coming to a conclusion that is so wildly out of kilter with the official line of Land Rover? Hard to say, of course, not least because Ratcliffe hasn’t yet returned our calls, but I’m a great believer in the catchphrase about “there being no smoke without fire” and perhaps there are clues if you read between the lines of the story.