Motoring / Cars and Bikes

Land Rover Defender Comeback Possible

While its production ceased on January 29, fan of Land Rover Defender and Ineos Group CEO Jim Ratcliffe is looking to rebuilding the vehicle.

Jul 20, 2016 | By Chelsea Tan

A little bit of drama has been brewing in the automobile industry with regards to the Land Rover Defender. In one camp, we have chemicals company Ineos, whose love for the Land Rover is so great they are looking into reviving the iconic Defender. Yes, a multinational chemicals firm is courting the iconic vehicle. Initial exploratory talks with Jaguar Land Rover have actually taken place, and rumours have been circulating that companies are interested in reproducing the Defender, or at least licensing the vehicle’s exterior form and creating an ‘homage’.

“I am a passionate advocate of UK manufacturing and the Land Rover Defender has been a part of the British motoring scene for over sixty years. We want to breathe new life into it and make it even better than before,” said Ineos Group Limited CEO Jim Ratcliffe.

On the other hand, in the other camp, these developments have incensed Jaguar Land Rover so much that they were forced to issue an official statement announcing, “We’re not going to let anyone build our Defender.” There’s that then.

While the Defender was very well-loved, its production had to stop (and it did at the start of this year) as it could no longer meet with automotive safety regulations. But what’s a little danger to its fans, right? Even with its non-compliance with current safety and environmental standards, demand soared for the vehicle in its last year of production, while Ineos believes that even today, a special edition could easily find 10,000 to 12,000 customers a year.

In any event, Ineos aims to retain the Defender’s iconic silhouette, and announced that a serious feasibility study was now underway. Rebels will always find a way to defy authority and this all has the air of fairy tale but if Jaguar Land Rover doesn’t want to play ball here – and its contention that the Defender is indeed outmoded and outdated seems merely factual – we don’t see how any interested parties can revive the model.

 
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