New Defender off to lethargic start

The UK media has labelled the launch of JLR’s second-generation Defender as a bit shaky, despite Land Rover demonstrating it is considerably more popular than the older model. According to Land Rover, the British car builder has received 22,000 orders alone for the110 long wheel base variant. When compared with the last full year of sales for the last-generation vehicle, just 8,442 total, that represents an increase to the tune of 260%.

The order books break down roughly into 11,000 customer orders and 11,000 dealer demonstrators commitments. What’s causing this seemingly sluggish uptake?

Production delays

The Slovakian plant where the new Defender is produced was forced to shut for a while due to COVID-19 pandemic mitigation measures. This has reportedly caused a backlog in builds, including the crucial demonstrators that dealers need to sell the vehicle, in key markets, like China and the US. Sales outlets also had to close while they scrambled to implement social distancing protocols and safety measures.

Unexpected marketing problems 

The new Defender is set to feature prominently in the next James Bond film. Its blockbuster release was originally scheduled for the 3rd of April, but this was later pushed back to the 12th of November 2020, again, because of the global pandemic. It is thought the film’s delay, and consequent lack of public exposure to the new Defender, may also have contributed to what one financial analyst classified as “underwhelming” sales.

Want a Defender now?

Saxton 4x4 currently has three of the most iconic Defender models in stock and ready for sale. All these models are low mileage examples. These first-generation Defenders were traditionally assembled, mostly by hand,at the Lode Lane production facility in Solihull. The company also has strict social distancing measures in place and can deliver the vehicles after a deep clean on site.


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