Production of the Land Rover Defender has ceased, bringing an end to 68 years of automotive history.
The last Land Rover Defender has rolled off the Jaguar/Land Rover production line at the Solihull plant. Land Rover invited more than 700 employees, both current and former, to witness the last vehicle – a Defender 90 Heritage Soft Top – leave the line. It was destined to become part of the Jaguar Land Rover museum collection.
Since 1948, more than two million Series Land Rovers and Defenders have been manufacturered at the JLR's British plant. The vehicle has become the iconic offroad vehicle and Land Rover claimed it was "the most versatile vehicle on the planet".
There were several reasons why Land Rover ended the production run of this iconic model, such as the Defender's dearth of safety features and ever-stringent emissions laws.
It's not all doom and gloom, however, because Land Rover announced the new Heritage Restoration Programme, which will oversee the rebuilding of a number of Land Rovers sourced from around the world. These vehicles will be beautifully restored to full-working order and resold. The first model is expected to go on sale in July 2016.
Land Rover’s Heritage Restoration programme will be manned by a team of twelve experts. Ten of these Land Rover staff will be transferred from the current production line. The team is said to have 172 years of combined experience working on Defender or Land Rover production.