PRODUCTION of the ‘Great British icon’ Land Rover Defender will be resurrected at a new factory in Slovakia.
The luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) confirmed the plan for the ‘next generation’ model today (April 30).
The Defender was manufactured at the firm’s Lode Lane factory until early 2016 after 68 years.
JLR opened its new £1billion factory in Nitra, Slovakia, in October and switched the production of the Discovery model from Lode Lane to the facility soon after.
A spokesperson said: “Jaguar Land Rover confirms that the all-new Land Rover Defender will be assembled at its plant in Slovakia.
“Designed and engineered in the UK, the new Land Rover Defender will be unveiled later this year.
“It will use the latest clean Ingenium engines built at Wolverhampton, England, reinforcing both the company’s British roots and the diversified, globalised nature of its manufacturing strategy.
“This decision is in parallel with plans for significant investment at the company’s Solihull plant in the UK to support the production of the next generation of flagship Range Rover and Land Rover models.”
The company has experienced a long line of setbacks over the last year which it has attributed to falling demand in diesel vehicles, Brexit-related market uncertainty and China slashing import tariffs.
It launched a £2.5billion savings programme over an initial 18 months and beyond, which chiefs say will secure the company’s future and its long-term commitment to the Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire region.
Solihull MP Julian Knight tweeted: “Obviously disappointed to read that the Great British icon the Land Rover Defender will not be built at Solihull.
“But the company says it remains committed to building Range Rover and Land Rover models at our local plant.”