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Land Rover Thinks Next Defender Could Be Its Bestseller

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On: Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 10:09AM | By: Chris Weiss

Land Rover Thinks Next Defender Could Be Its Bestseller

Despite underwhelming the world with several renditions of its DC100 concept, an early preview of the next generation Defender, Land Rover is confident that the model will do well. A company executive told media that Land Rover believes the Defender will go on to become its best-selling SUV, once it spawns a family of different sized and configured models.

Brand director John Edwards told Inside Line: "We're being encouraged to look at it as a 20-year plan with global potential, a family of vehicles offered on different wheelbases with different bodies. The leisure market is huge. We get a very significant share of the premium SUV market that BMW and Porsche compete in, but the leisure segment is bigger, it's growing and our share is smaller. Our ambition is to grow here."

Unlike fancier Range Rover models, the Defender is a no-nonsense, off-road-first SUV similar in purpose to the Jeep Wrangler, which has been Jeep's best-selling model in years past (the Grand Cherokee outsold it in 2011 in the US, but the Wrangler was tops in 2010). Land Rover will make the next Defender more of a global offering than the current one, including returning it to the US market, where it's been absent since the 1990s.

Edwards said that the price of the Defender will likely be in the $30,000 to $40,000 range when it launches around 2015. Some proposed model types include a pickup truck (something that Jeep has been toying with, as well), a crew cab and a utility SUV. Each model would be built on its own chassis.

Land Rover plans to continue tweaking the DC100 over the next few years as it prepares to start production on the next generation Defender.


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