Great Britain's original off-roader will be ending production in 2015, 67 years after it started rolling out of factories. That's right, the Land Rover Defender is slated to end its run in just over two short years. And although that name "Defender" has only been in use since 1990, the vehicle that's worn it and its rough-and-tumble, rural nature can be traced all the way back to the original Series I Land Rover, from 1948.
Land Rover, which has worn the "beleaguered" tag for too long, is getting more and more rays of light its way. The latest bit of sunshine comes in the form of a hiring flurry – according to Autocar, the company's Solihull factory is upping its 5,000-strong workforce by the not-insignificant number of 275 workers due to strong sales.
When the economy gets dinged, luxury vehicles gets massive dents. Jaguar and Land Rover haven't been the most profitable aut for a while, and parent company Tata is studying which of two plants it would shut to try and stem some of the losses; Solihull or Castle Bromwich.
It's a little difficult to keep track of what's happening at Tata and JLR these days. While the XF sales continue apace and the XJ is promising, the JLR division lost £673.4 million pounds ($1.11B U.S.) last year, and parent company Tata was $520 million in the red at the end of its 2008 fiscal year. Due to those numbers and a so-far unfulfilled quest for financing, Tata has been relentlessly talking up the need to shed production workers.