Fascinating two part video of Land Rover Defenders being built, by hand mostly, for the last time. This is the final year of production for the iconic 2015 Land Rover Defender. Watch in UltraHD + SUBSCRIBE #CARJAMTV
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The Land Rover Defender (initially called the Land Rover Ninety and Land Rover One Ten) is a British four-wheel-drive off-road utility vehicle developed from the original Land Rover Series launched in 1948. In October 2013 Land Rover announced that production would end in December 2015, after a continuous run of 67 years.
In 1993 Land Rover launched the Defender in the North American (i.e. the United States and Canada) market. Although the Range Rover had been sold there since 1987, this was the first time utility Land Rovers had been sold since 1974. To comply with the strict United States Department of Transportation regulations, ranging from crash safety to lighting, as well as the very different requirements of American buyers, the North American Specification (NAS) Defenders were extensively modified. The initial export batch was 525 Defender 110 County Station Wagons: 500 to the United States and 25 to Canada. They were fitted with the 3.9-litre V8 petrol engine and five-speed manual transmission. All of the vehicles were white (except one specifically painted black for Ralph Lauren). They sported full external roll-cages and larger side-indicator and tail-lights. All were equipped with the factory-fitted air conditioning system.
Replacing the Defender with a new model has been in the planning stages for many years. The current Defender has been in production since 1991. It has not met U.S. safety requirements since 1998 and since then Land Rover has been offering U.S. buyers the more luxurious LR2 (Freelander) and LR4 (Discovery) instead. Total replacement will be needed by 2015, when new European regulations regarding crash safety for pedestrians will render the current design obsolete.
Concept vehicles DC100 and DC100 Sport were revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show. DC100 is a conventional three-door off-roader with a 2.0-litre turbo-charged diesel engine and DC100 Sport is a two-passenger pick-up with 2.0-litre petrol engine. Unlike the current Defender with 93-inch, 110-inch and 130-inch wheelbases, DC100 was presented in 100-inch wheelbase (DC100 = Defender Concept 100″ wheelbase) only.
The new vehicle, which according to Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern will bear little resemblance to the DC100, will according to some sources be in production by 2015 and will replace the then 25-year-old model which is the longest running production of any Land Rover vehicle. Land Rover is planning 60,000 to 80,000 units annually which would beat the 1970 record of between 55,000 and 60,000.
The new vehicles with their more modern engines, transmissions, and interiors reversed the huge decline in sales that took place in the 1980s (a 21% fall in a single year, 1980–1981). This growth was mainly in the domestic UK market and Europe. African, Australian and Middle-Eastern sales failed to recover significantly. The company itself adopted more modern practices, such as using marketing campaigns to attract new buyers who would not previously have been expected to buy a Land Rover. The operation was streamlined, with most of the satellite factories in the West Midlands that built parts for the Land Rover being closed and production brought into the Solihull factory, which was expanded.