The New Land Rover Defender Manufactured in Austria?

While many of you were distracted by Donald Trump and chemtrails, Land Rover just announced one of the most significant pieces of news since the launch of the Discovery in 1989. On June 1st, Jaguar Land Rover signed a manufacturing agreement with Magna Steyr, an Austrian company best known for producing such awesomeness as the G-Wagen (G-Class) and the Pinzgauer. It is no coincidence that as Defender production ends in Solihull, England this December, a new 4WD manufacturing partner is contracted. Just imagine for a moment the next Defender: Designed by Land Rover, yet engineered and manufactured by Steyr in Austria- Shangri-La indeed!

Defender 110: Made in Solihull
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Mercedes G-Wagen: Made by Magna Steyr in Austria
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Now certainly this is all conjecture, but the likelihood of the next Defender being made in Austria is absolutely plausible. The timing adds up with the end of the current Defender production in December. Functionally, producing the Defender in Graz also makes sense given Steyr’s 4WD pedigree, engineering, and manufacturing capabilities. I see this as welcome and truly exciting news. . .

Press Release: 

 

(MAHWAH, N.J.) – July 1, 2015 – Today,Jaguar Land Rover announced it has entered into a manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr, an operating unit of Magna International Inc., to build future vehicles in Graz, Austria.

 

With plans already in place to take Jaguar Land Rover’s three vehicle manufacturing plants in the UK close to their operating capacity, the collaboration with Magna Steyr will create additional volumes needed to support the company’s plans to achieve further growth. Dr. Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Executive Officer, said, “The UK remains at the center of our design, engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Partnerships such as this will complement our UK operations and engineering.” Speth adds, “Today marks another step towards building our global footprint. This agreement will allow us to expand our award-winning model range as customers around the world demand ever-more innovative vehicles from Jaguar Land Rover.” Over the past five years, Jaguar Land Rover has doubled sales to more than 462,000 vehicles, doubled employment to more than 35,000 people and invested more than $15 billion (£10 billion) in new product creation and capital expenditure. During this time, the company has invested heavily in its UK vehicle manufacturing facilities at Castle Bromwich, Halewood and Solihull to support the introduction of 10 all-new vehicles, including the Jaguar XE, Jaguar F-TYPE, Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport.

With more than 100 years’ experience, Magna Steyr has extensive contract manufacturing expertise working with many car manufacturers globally. “The signing of this contract with Jaguar Land Rover reflects the trust in our capability and heritage as a vehicle contract manufacturer,” said Günther Apfalter, President Magna Steyr and Magna International Europe. “The partnership with Jaguar Land Rover brings a new customer to our Graz plant. As always, we will work with our fullest commitment and dedication to ensure that we meet our customers’ high expectations.”

Jaguar Land Rover is strengthening its international manufacturing presence with the opening of its joint venture factory in China and the construction of its new plant in Brazil. The expansion of its international manufacturing operations allows Jaguar Land Rover to develop an increasingly flexible, agile and efficient global manufacturing strategy.

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Jaguar Land Rover:

  • In 2015/16 Jaguar Land Rover will spend 5.9 billion USD (£3.6 billion) on new vehicle creation and capital expenditure. In the same period, the company will launch 12 new and refreshed vehicles from its UK plants, such as the Jaguar F-PACE at Solihull.
  • Jaguar Land Rover has three vehicle manufacturing facilities and a new Engine Manufacturing Centre in the UK:
    • Castle Bromwich is home to the Jaguar XF, Jaguar XJ and Jaguar F-TYPE, employing 3,500 people.
    • Halewood is home to the Range Rover Evoque and Land Rover Discovery Sport, employing 4,500 people.
    • Solihull is home to the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery, Land Rover Defender and the Jaguar XE, employing 9,000 people.
    • The Engine Manufacturing Center is home to the ‘Ingenium’ engine family, starting with the 2.0 litre diesel Jaguar XE. It will employ 1,400 people.
  • Jaguar Land Rover has two overseas manufacturing facilities and a local assembly presence in India:
    • Chery Jaguar Land Rover, its joint venture in China, produces the Range Rover Evoque and employs more than 2,500 people.
    • Brazil will be the company’s first wholly owned overseas manufacturing plant. It will be operational in early 2016 and will produce the Discovery Sport. It will employ circa 400 people.
    • Jaguar Land Rover has had a local assembly presence in India since 2011 and currently assembles the Range Rover Evoque, Jaguar XF and XJ.
  • In 2014, Jaguar Land Rover sold 462,678 vehicles, up 9%. Of that, Jaguar sold 81,570 vehicles and Land Rover sold 381,108 vehicles.

Magna International:

  • Magna is leading global automotive supplier with 316 manufacturing operations and 84 product development, engineering and sales centers in 29 countries.
  • Approximately 133,000 employees are focused on delivering superior value to Magna International’s customers through innovative products, processes and World Class Manufacturing.
  • Magna International’s product capabilities include body, chassis, interiors, exteriors, seating, powertrain, electronics, vision, closure and roof systems and modules, as well as complete vehicle engineering and contract manufacturing through its Magna Steyr unit in Graz, Austria.
  • Magna Steyr is the leading global, brand-independent engineering and manufacturing partner to automakers.
  • Magna Steyr offers OEMs solutions for a wide range of services with highly flexible development and assembly strategies, from individual systems like door modules to complete vehicles, and from extra-low volume through peak shaving to volume production.

 

About Jaguar Land Rover North America

• The United States is one of the leading global markets for both Jaguar and Land Rover

• Jaguar Land Rover employs 32,000 people and sells vehicles in 170 countries around the world

• Jaguar Land Rover has two state of the art engineering and design facilities and four advanced manufacturing plants in the UK

• Headquartered in Mahwah, New Jersey in the United States, Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC has offices across the USA

• Jaguar Land Rover is represented by more than 330 independently operated retail outletsin the USA

Scott is the publisher and founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and include three circumnavigations of the globe. He was the expedition leader for the first American team to cross Antarctica by 4x4.