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by Jay Traugott
The next Defender will be a global model on a massive scale.
Last September at the Frankfurt Auto Show, we were given a preview of what the next generation Land Rover Defender may look like. The DC100 Defender Concept was a good-looking vehicle that seemed to combine some styling from the iconic Defender that will soon end production along with plenty of modern touches, namely from the Evoque. Reaction in both the media and public was quite solid so Land Rover is continuing with plans to put the DC100 into production as the new Defender.
But unlike the outgoing model, the automaker wants the new model to be a volume seller. Left Lane News is reporting that while the final exterior design is still being worked out, the marketing and sales plans are currently in high gear. Land Rover's global brand director, John Edwards stated that the next Defender will have "a wide appeal, and a low-cost base." Like the current one, the new Defender will also be offered in different body styles all built on the same platform.
But the big news here is the sales target Land Rover has in mind. According to the same source, the Toyota Hilux is being used as a sales example.
In 2011, for example, the Hilux sold 549,000 units globally while less than 20,000 Defenders were sold. If that's going to happen, Land Rover knows they must be sure, according to Edwards, "that it's functional, durable and affordable...we're talking to sub-Saharan Africa buyers about cost of ownership and ease of maintenance." And yes, the next Defender will also be sold in the U.S., with pricing expected to be in the $30,000 - $40,000 range.