When Tata's purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover began to appear inevitable, the question "Would you buy a Jaguar made in India?" was oft repeated. Yet it looks like Land Rover will be the first of the two brands to try to benefit from this kind of Anglo-Indian synergy: a report in Autocar states that the 2015 Land Rover Defender will be built at Tata's plant in Pune, India.

The Defender is a truly old school body-on-frame SUV that sells in small numbers compared to the rest of the Land Rover line. But it has benefitted from technology, some regulatory gymnastics and exemptions and, like the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen, a warm place in people's hearts. If it's going to be around, though, LR would like to move more of them. Building the next generation model in Pune – with final assembly of some examples in England, a reverse of what's done now with products like the knockdown Freelander 2 (read: LR2) – could give the Defender's bottom line the boost it needs, as well as close proximity to Middle Eastern and Asian markets.

It is expected that the next Tata Aria SUV will be close enough in dimensions and manufacturing to share the same facility with the the 2015 Defender. They will remain two distinct vehicles – the Defender will likely go on the T5 ladder chassis that underpins the Discovery/LR4 and Range Rover Sport, and is predicted to have the general features of the DC100 concept. The current Defender is slated to remain on sale until 2017, and will likely be built in Solihull, England until then.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 14 Comments
      jvshenderson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like an anime version of the old defender...
      tenspeeder
      • 2 Years Ago
      It has a certain, 2-door Honda element look to it
      johnb
      • 2 Years Ago
      I know the Land Rover Defender, the Defender is my friend. That is no Land Rover Defender.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would be surprised if it is not built in India. The manufacturing cost are too low to be ignored. Even if they only sell the Indian built trucks in Africa and Asia it would be worth it to the bottom line.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Justin Campanale
      • 2 Years Ago
      PLEASE make this a real offroad capable, body on frame truck, instead of some unibody poseur family sedan that only looks like a truck.
      JamesC
      • 2 Years Ago
      While I think global production makes good business sense I wouldn't want the UK to lose any manufacturing jobs as a result.
      Ariakkan
      • 2 Years Ago
      How can you turn a classic into a joke? With this semi-automobile taken straight from the Playmobil family. Seriously, this is a very sad thing for 4x4 lovers. Im proud we have a Defender classic in my family, at least the legacy will persist. Now it's only the Mercedes G that remains as a time-proof vehicle.
      Hernan
      • 2 Years Ago
      Stupid ugly *@#*& thing is slowly growing on me... it's at 'maybe acceptable' now.
      diffrunt
      • 2 Years Ago
      Tonka Toy
      Rob Matolicz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lol @ production in Pune
      jamiescale
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a disappointment if the production Defender looks like this. They've gone the Toyota FJ Cruiser route which is to "toy-ify" what was once a ballsy, manly, rock-solid vehicle. The above Defender looks like something Derek Zoolander would drive...not Indiana Jones. Wranglers, Defenders and 40-Series Land Cruisers have a bare-bones honesty and integrity about them that relates directly to their intended use. The FJ Cruiser and this thing look like giant plastic kids toys which is a shame as the underlying vehicles do have cred.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @jamiescale
        [blocked]
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