I received an email the other day announcing that a new generation of the Land Rover Defender will be revealed later this year, and that it will go on sale in 2020. Usually, I receive Defender news with annoyed resignation because it never applies to this side of the pond.
However, this particular email was from Land Rover USA, and it confirmed that the Defender is coming back to the U.S. after over 20 years of absence. This is incredible news! We’re finally getting one that isn’t just being shoehorned into our market with no airbags!
Beyond my personal excitement for the Defender’s arrival, this is a very smart move by Land Rover. SUVs, as you’ve probably heard, are very popular these days. The luxury market in particular is highly competitive, with almost every manufacturer trying their best to win over buyers. Additionally, the Jeep Wrangler continues to be basically the only game in town for a highly-capable 4×4 off-road SUV that you can buy straight from a dealer — and it’s far from a luxury vehicle in any sense of the term.
While Land Rover is more of a niche brand compared to Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, I believe the market is ripe for a bona fide luxury off-road vehicle. People continue to buy the expensive versions of the Toyota 4Runner, even though it’s objectively worse than most of the competition — just because it feels like it could go anywhere. The Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen has lost some of its off-roader appeal with the latest generation — but it’s still a hot new SUV that lets people feel like they can go anywhere. The Defender will have that same feeling and ability — and the luxury brand to match.
Furthermore, the Defender has achieved a mythical cult status here in the U.S. Importing them has become very profitable because the demand outweighs supply, while U.S.-spec models like Doug’s demand even higher prices. This will only help the new Defender’s sales.
Even though we know next to nothing about the new Defender at this point, I’m sure it will be a good move for Land Rover. People will probably be skeptical of a mass-market model — but at the end of the day, it’s almost guaranteed to make Land Rover money. Find a Land Rover Defender for sale