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Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover
Interesting Info About All Things Land Rover

Defender Becomes Current Best-Selling Land Rover

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Nov 4, 2021
a new Defender 110 on the road

The Defender has become Land Rover’s best-selling vehicle globally in the last quarter, just over a year after its launch. This success comes despite the semiconductor shortage, which has prevented Land Rover fulfilling open orders.

A total of 16,725 Defenders found new homes in the third quarter, up 70% over last year. With the semiconductor shortage and the Defender’s red-hot popularity, Land Rover has prioritized it in their production schedules. While Defenders are getting built as fast as possible considering the circumstances, only 5,409 Discoverys went out of the same production line in Nitra, Slovakia.

The Defender is the company’s best-seller for the first time in its history, possibly. The original Defender’s production was limited to about 20,000 units a year, with about 80 produced a day in a single shift at Solihull. The modern construction methods used to make the new vehicle allows for about four times as many Defenders a year to come off the line. It’s almost certain it’s the first time the nameplate has been the company’s best-seller; the name Defender debuted in 1989 for the former Land Rover Ninety/One Ten/One Twenty Seven, alongside the launch of the Discovery, which was an instant and massive hit, becoming the best-selling SUV in all of Europe for several years.

Before the Defender came along, Land Rover’s best-seller was the Evoque. But it’s been pushed aside by the red-hot newcomer, down by over 3,000 units compared to the Defender. The Defender has sold 50,882 units this year globally, also more than the Evoque.

Notably, the Defender is not the top seller in the United States. That slot has gone to the Range Rover Sport. But the Defender still moved 3,762 units the last quarter. Part of the reason for the difference in numbers is the chip shortage. JLR has 128,000 backorders between both brands, of which 34,000 are Defenders. Even with a massively popular lineup, with vehicles that are generally profitable, they are making a loss as there is no way to churn out the volume the market demands.

Overall, JLR’s global sales are down 18% to 92,710 in the last quarter due to the chip shortage. Once it ends, and with the Defender 130 long-length variant on the way to satisfy the big-SUV-loving American market, look for the Defender’s sales to only go from strength to strength.

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  • Written By
  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Adventure addict. '90s Land Rover daily driver. Historic preservationist. Personal vehicles: 1994 Discovery I, 1994 Range Rover Classic, 1961 Series II 109", 2005 LR3.
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