New Defender Rage/Hate Thread

Corgi_express

Well-known member
Why didn't LR build the Grenadier?
Because the Grenadier is a vanity project of a billionaire that will sell 25k units a year if he's lucky, and the last several iterations of the Defender were selling in the low thousands of units a year. Because Halo models like the G-wagen are the domain of companies with big cash reserves that can afford an overpriced marketing stunt. Because Tata is a public company that has obligations to the shareholders that Ineos simply does not have.

And because a lot more people will buy the Defender than will buy the Grenadier. JLR had 22k orders on the books before the first defender was delivered to a customer. This was considered disappointing, and parroted by haters on the internet as evidence that the Defender was an utter failure. Ineos plans to produce 25k Grenadiers total per year.


The Grenadier will be cool. I might even buy one. But it's a gimmick selling nostalgia, not a car that a company that is in a financial tight spot will build its future on.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
125,741.


In the US, LR sells less vehicles total, than the worst car ever made. (2018 #'s, 142,617)

So you can't say ''reliability'' is a problem. Or blame a low production vehicle, for low production. I'd rather have the Grenadier, than a Cruze with a broken transmission.

Sales numbers really mean nothing. The average persons opinion is meaningless. ''Consumer Reports'' is my favorite example of such.
 
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mpinco

Expedition Leader
It still comes down to function over form which drives sales as aftermarket adopts the platform. Ineos has a clean sheet.

LR has baggage that they need to shed through model cuts and a desperate need for a partnership/financing of debt.
 

mpinco

Expedition Leader
Last years of the Defender did see low volumes but that was a self-fullfilling outcome of zero investment for decades. A very poor datapoint for future investment.
 

Highlander

The Good Shepherd
So, my question to all of my Land Rover loving friends on here (@Victory_Overland @Blaise @DieselRanger @Corgi_express) is this. ..... Why didn't LR build the Grenadier?
That's because LR decided to design a cool vehicle... and they have succeeded as the new LRD is a very cool vehicle.
It's not designed for a farmer in Scottish highlands or for cattle ranchers in Australia or Montana.
The new Defender perfectly suits to a modern western man (oh sorry, I meant human).
It is sophisticated and technologically advanced. Even if it looks very simple inside or outside it is far from being simple. It's extremely advanced and technologically driven design conceals itself behind that shallow simplicity and presents itself as "modern but utilitarian" tool.
This is what drives current design language in many fields from car design to architecture. The brutal and overwhelming technology is behind, while you are merely activating those technologies.
It gives an impression of comfort and security. And those feelings matter for many. (Have you guys noticed how much the word experience is being used lately? It's all bout that.)
It is the coolest SUV out there.
But is it true to it's original spirit? my answer is NO. Because we have left that spirit behind... There was something heroic and Free in old defenders. I don't know was it but it got that spark. That spirit is gone. For some it's great for some not so much.

The generations change. The Western millennials don't care about those things. One of the outdoor magazine guy had his balls clipped because of ... hm... environmental concerns. (yes it's true story).
And here we are talking about asceticism and utilitarian stuff?!

In the West we (I mean you, I am not exactly from the West by my origin) have changed. We are not pioneers or engineers anymore. So we need an appropriate car with an appropriate spirit ... and the new Defender is a perfect vehicle for that paradigm change.

p.s. the new Defender's uni-body and independent suspension has nothing to do with it's absences of that old Defender spirit.
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
I'm fascinated that Land Rover ceded Defender's design heritage to Grenadier. It's like voluntary identify theft.

While new Defender is a remarkable design that stands on its own, it's obvious that Grenadier will be the vehicle that carries forward old Defender's design heritage.
Actually, they challenged them in court and lost, and UK intellectual property law does not allow for asserting retroactive rights like US law does (Jeep / Mahindra...). Land Rover simply never considered trademarking a shape the way Jeep did their grille and other features.

 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
So, my question to all of my Land Rover loving friends on here (@Victory_Overland @Blaise @DieselRanger @Corgi_express) is this. ..... Why didn't LR build the Grenadier?

Is it crash test, emissions etc...?

Are the people who'd buy this just not LRs market?

If this promises to be what it appears to be- this is a truly purpose-built, singularly focused vehicle- why would LR not be bold and recapture the original defender's heritage and build this? They have plenty of other SUVs- why not make an outlier model in the way that Ford has their bread and butter F-150, but they also make the Raptor which comes standard with 35s, King Shocks and can jump?

Carroll Shelby built incredible Cobra Mustangs and once said something along the lines of that he may not sell but a few of the 700 hundred plus types of Mustangs, but it'll help Ford sell alot of V-6 Mustangs. My point being that a really cool, low-volume model can be a lightening rod to sales for other models. Why not use the Defender platform in this way- give something to the core enthusiast that is clearly a direct descendant of the original and let the aura of that model bump sales of the rest of the SUVs?
As they've said, Land Rover is about looking forward. Land Rover has many technical firsts under their belts for 4x4s and the new Defender has many of its own.

Doesn't seem like they're going to be suffering for it. Defender orders are high and they're clearly extremely capable, far more capable than most drivers will ever use, same as Rubicons and 4Runner TRDs and Raptors. Had they just reproduced the old one, they would have sold a couple thousand in the US in the first year to people who always wanted one but never wanted the headache of a project car and would prefer one with a factory warranty, then they would sell on the order of the couple hundred units they were doing per year the last time the Defender was here in the mid 1990s.

The old Defender was a niche vehicle, always was. The new one is widening its niche without being the compromise in performance and comfort the old one was.
 

DieselRanger

Well-known member
I would have phrased that as a question rather than statement of fact.
I would be willing to bet worldwide pre-orders and orders to date of LR's Defender are already higher than the total annual number of Grenadiers Ineos is willing and able to produce. The Discovery had 20,000 pre-orders before the first one rolled off the production line, and judging by what my dealer said, they are currently running at about double the rate of Defender orders at the same point in the first year production cycle.

Don't know if it's true but the dealer also said the Slovakian factory has cut back Disco production to a single shift while rolling those people over to Defender production to catch up to and keep up with demand after COVID factory issues.
 

Todd n Natalie

Observer
The Aztec would sell like crazy if it was released brand new right now. AWD, decent ground clearance, cheap cost of entry, AND A BUILT IN TENT! It’s an overlanding wet dream.
In all honesty, they weren't actually bad to drive. (based on the SWB Montana van) Good seating position, comfy. The built in removable cooler was pretty neat too.

upload_2017-10-20_14-41-43.jpg
2001.pontiac.aztek_.cooler.jpg
 

T-Willy

Well-known member
Actually, they challenged them in court and lost, and UK intellectual property law does not allow for asserting retroactive rights like US law does (Jeep / Mahindra...). Land Rover simply never considered trademarking a shape the way Jeep did their grille and other features.

Yeah, I saw that.

I was speaking more to Land Rover's abrupt departure from utility vehicles and Defender's design heritage; the resulting gap is so wide that it's left room for a new company benoeming that loss to step in, modernize, and fill it.

But to be fair, that gap isn't just Land Rover's; the lack of purposeful modern off road utility wagons (nix "sport" from "sport utility vehicle") spans the industry.
 

soflorovers

Well-known member
As they've said, Land Rover is about looking forward. Land Rover has many technical firsts under their belts for 4x4s and the new Defender has many of its own.

Doesn't seem like they're going to be suffering for it. Defender orders are high and they're clearly extremely capable, far more capable than most drivers will ever use, same as Rubicons and 4Runner TRDs and Raptors. Had they just reproduced the old one, they would have sold a couple thousand in the US in the first year to people who always wanted one but never wanted the headache of a project car and would prefer one with a factory warranty, then they would sell on the order of the couple hundred units they were doing per year the last time the Defender was here in the mid 1990s.

The old Defender was a niche vehicle, always was. The new one is widening its niche without being the compromise in performance and comfort the old one was.
We don't need to go all the way back to 1997. They would've sold a couple hundred units per year, just like they were doing in Europe post 2012 until the OG Defender was discontinued. The reality is that LR kept the old Defender alive for as long as they could to satisfy the enthusiast base. That said, the historical data is very clear: Europeans had the opportunity to buy Defenders all the way through 2016, and barely anyone did. So, for everyone that is bashing on the new Defender, why would JLR build a vehicle that they knew wouldn't sell? At what point is it OK for a company to ignore the relatively small enthusiast base? Would you guys have preferred that they didn't build the New Defender at all? At the end of the day, this new Defender needed to appeal to a broader market because the original one was down to a consumer base of like 13 people when the final one rolled off the production line (I exaggerate, but the point is still valid).


EDIT: Added link and corrected typos.
 
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DieselRanger

Well-known member
Yeah, I saw that.

I was speaking more to Land Rover's abrupt departure from utility vehicles and Defender's design heritage; the resulting gap is so wide that it's left room for a new company benoeming that loss to step in, modernize, and fill it.

But to be fair, that gap isn't just Land Rover's; the lack of purposeful modern off road utility wagons (nix "sport" from "sport utility vehicle") spans the industry.
Land Rover has made commercial "utility" variants of all of their vehicles and still do - they just don't sell them in the US, and never have.

The "abrupt" departure from the original 90/110/130-->Defender style vehicle actually occurred in the 1990s when they froze the design of that vehicle. Literally every other vehicle they made advanced regularly on slightly longer-than-standard model cycles - witness the Discovery and Range Rover.

Unfortunately, LR and now JLR have always - always - been a low-volume, and thus low-revenue and low margin automaker. The heyday of British automotive industry peaked in the early 1960s and then the economic limitations of being a small island separated from mainland Europe that decided to take a detour to socialist-adjacent labor policies caught up to them. It takes money to modernize vehicles, and Land Rover pulled the Defender out simply because they didn't want to make the investment to put airbags in it. Then they declined to bring it back because the sales were too low even in Europe to justify US homologation. Ford nearly ruined Jaguar, but they likely saved Land Rover - just enough to spin them off during the last financial crisis, and whether due to bad timing or ruthless business sense, even they declined to invest in the vehicle. Tata has been pumping cash into them, but that effort takes years - and they have to see a return on that investment, as @Corgi_express and others have pointed out. That Land Rover continued to sell the Defender as long as they did despite it being a loss leader is admirable, but ultimately the business case always catches up.

It's an easy decision when you have more people on the production line for the vehicle than you do buyers for that vehicle each year. Had the Defender sold as much as the Discovery I (which frankly killed the Defender in the US because it was quite nearly as capable but much, much more comfortable and not that much more expensive) they likely would have modernized it regularly, and we'd not have this thread. I'd personally like to see Land Rover survive and build modern vehicles that push the envelope of technical capability rather than go under in a final gasp of nostalgic self-pity.
 
As they've said, Land Rover is about looking forward. Land Rover has many technical firsts under their belts for 4x4s and the new Defender has many of its own.

Doesn't seem like they're going to be suffering for it. Defender orders are high and they're clearly extremely capable, far more capable than most drivers will ever use, same as Rubicons and 4Runner TRDs and Raptors. Had they just reproduced the old one, they would have sold a couple thousand in the US in the first year to people who always wanted one but never wanted the headache of a project car and would prefer one with a factory warranty, then they would sell on the order of the couple hundred units they were doing per year the last time the Defender was here in the mid 1990s.

The old Defender was a niche vehicle, always was. The new one is widening its niche without being the compromise in performance and comfort the


As they've said, Land Rover is about looking forward. Land Rover has many technical firsts under their belts for 4x4s and the new Defender has many of its own.

Doesn't seem like they're going to be suffering for it. Defender orders are high and they're clearly extremely capable, far more capable than most drivers will ever use, same as Rubicons and 4Runner TRDs and Raptors. Had they just reproduced the old one, they would have sold a couple thousand in the US in the first year to people who always wanted one but never wanted the headache of a project car and would prefer one with a factory warranty, then they would sell on the order of the couple hundred units they were doing per year the last time the Defender was here in the mid 1990s.

The old Defender was a niche vehicle, always was. The new one is widening its niche without being the compromise in performance and comfort the old one was.
I hear ya that the old one wasn’t profitable for LR to build by hand on the ancient assembly line, and that sales were nonexistent in the final few years, but I’d question the statement that the Defender was only and would only be a niche vehicle. Jeep sold over 200 thousand Wranglers (the closest one could get to buying a Defender in the US) in the US in 2019 alone! You’d think LR would kill to get some of that volume.

Will also be very interesting to see how the new Bronco fares - very similar to the Jeep with the soft top and such.

But maybe you’re right - Toyota wasn’t able to sustain sales of the FJ Cruiser . . . and we all know how that ended.

Anyhoo, hope that the new D is a success for LR and gives them some financial breathing room in this crazy COVID world. Time will tell.
 
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