JLR’s new Land Rover Defender to be built in Slovakia

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has announced it is to build its ‘next-generation’ Defender 4×4 in Slovakia rather than the UK.

The firm said the new model has been designed and engineered in the UK and its new engines built in Wolverhampton.

“Jaguar Land Rover confirms that the all-new Land Rover Defender will be assembled at its plant in Slovakia. Designed and engineered in the UK, the new Land Rover Defender will be unveiled later this year,” the company said.

“It will use the latest clean Ingenium engines built at Wolverhampton, reinforcing both the company’s British roots and the diversified, globalised nature of its manufacturing strategy.”

JLR added that the decision is “in parallel with plans for significant investment at the company’s Solihull plant” to support the production of the next generation of flagship Range Rover and Land Rover models.

The current Defender model was built at the firm’s Solihull factory for around 67 years until 2016.

The manufacturer opened a £1bn manufacturing facility in Nitra, Slovakia, employing 1,5000 staff, last October.

The new model is expected to be unveiled later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show and to go on sale early next year.

The model is to complete a final phase of field testing on location in Kenya.

A Defender prototype will be put through its paces at the Borana Conservancy as part of Land Rover’s 15-year partnership with Tusk Trust.

The prototype will tow heavy loads, wade through rivers and carry supplies across difficult terrain in a series of trials at the 14,000-hectare reserve.