The new Land Rover factory in Nitra, Slovakia is preparing to begin full-scale production on Discovery 5, and they will almost certainly be making the new Defender, the camouflaged mules of which are now running around England with spare tires bolted on the rear door.
Nitra should begin producing all Discovery models for the global market at the beginning of 2019. As the new factory has significantly more space than is needed to produce Discovery models, is fully automated and efficient, and uses the latest platforms, it seems all but certain that the new Defender will be built there as well.
The Solihull plant in England will operate on a reduced production schedule to prepare for the move, and there are some personnel cuts and buyouts as well, similar to what happened when the old Defender was taken offline in 2016. In the medium term, Solihull will be geared up for the new Range Rover flagship model coming at some point in the early 2020s, as well as a greater focus on electric vehicles and potential new models and technologies.
Further mules of the new Defender have been spotted driving around England, and one has a spare tire bolted to the rear cargo door -- harkening back to the old Defender and even the Discovery 1 and 2. Slowly but surely, the new generation of the spiritual flagship of the company is revealing itself.
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