Next Land Rover Defender Could Be Built Outside U.K.
Poland, Hungary Reportedly Leading Candidates
Global automotive production is nothing new, with mainstream brands of all nationalities setting up plants outside their home base. However, luxury brands that once prided themselves on being built in their countries of origin are seeing the logistical advantages of building vehicles in lower-cost regions, and sometimes closer to their main markets. The latest brand to eye offshore production for one of its models is Land Rover. According to Autocar, the company is looking at Eastern Europe as a potential production spot for the next-generation Defender SUV.
Although some might interpret the offshoring of production as a vote of no-confidence in the U.K., the report says the potential move has more to do with the fact that JLR’s British factories are operating at near full capacity—on record sales and popularity of its Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Evoque, and Discovery Sport models.
The two leading production locations for the new plant are Hungary, near Gyor—where the Volkswagen Group has a major plant that builds the Audi TT—and an undisclosed location in Poland. The Gyor location is reportedly attractive due to the mature supplier base in the area that could furnish the plant. Land Rover is already manufacturing in China and is also reportedly looking at building a plant in Mexico.