The Defender might hold a fond place in many a heart but it wasn’t a huge profit maker for Land Rover

By contrast, Mercedes wised up in the early 1990s to transforming the G-Class from a workhorse akin to the Defender to a luxury off-roader that was capable on all terrains but also appealed to decadent buyers around the world. 

2018 G-Class: S-Class tech meets old school 4x4 nous

Although the Defender’s sales exceeded the G-Class’s when it ended production in January 2016, the average Defender sold for less than half the price of the average G-Class, so the Merc’s profit margins were more business friendly. The Defender also faced increasingly stringent safety and emissions rules that made continuing its production a challenge. 

Merc g63 amg 6 0

For all those reasons, the G-Class has managed to carry on where the Defender didn’t. Just last month, we saw a G-Class run-out special, ensuring the current iteration of the off-roader milks everything it can before the new one arrives. 

There’s a lot of potential for the next Defender, due in 2019, but key to its future success is its ability to be profitable in the way that the G-Class has. Until then, Germany reigns supreme. 

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