A report from the UK-based Autocar claims Land Rover has ambitious plans for the next-generation Defender model, expected for the 2015 model year, targeting the ubiquitous Toyota Hilux in terms of price point and availability. This is a dramatic change from the previous status of the Defender being a niche vehicle.
Land Rover is targeting a sales volume of more than 500,000 units a year, a huge jump over the 20,000 units sold of the current Defender. In an indication of how serious the company is about targeting emerging markets, it is talking to potential buyers in sub-Saharan Africa about cost of ownership and ease of maintenance, prioritizing functionality, durability, and affordability. Land Rover brand chief John Edwards said he would like the brand to be seen as "a global maker, not a UK maker selling globally."
In a separate Autocar report, the DC100 concept may be spun off as a separate model from the next-generation Defender, and could be based on the unibody, transverse powertrain Evoque. The two scenarios being discussed for putting the concept into production are a traditional, body-on-frame off-road oriented chassis like the aforementioned next-generation Defender, or a more urban-oriented "soft-roader" like the Evoque.
Source: Autocar 1, 2