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

New Defender Has Outsold Old One in America

  • Greg Fitzgerald
  • Jan 21, 2021
new Defender models being showcased

Despite its launch being significantly delayed, 9,115 new Defenders found new homes last year – more than the 6,913 North American Specification (NAS) Defenders that were sold from 1993-1997.

These strong sales came in spite of the many complications that the pandemic threw at the Defender. Originally it was planned for a spring launch, but COVID caused the factory in Slovakia to close for several weeks just as production began. Dealerships were also closed in some areas, then dealing with how to sell cars in a socially-distant manner. Car sales overall tanked in the spring, before climbing later in the year; this is the first year in many years that Land Rover sales have decreased, though their American market share remained stable as most automakers sold fewer cars.

COVID also tweaked the model lineup, with the Defender 90 delayed until 2021. Originally planned for 2020, the factory had to forego making the planned 2020 First Edition Defender 90s, trying to keep up with demand for the Defender 110. The D90 will be available as a 2021 model instead, in both First Edition specification and standard spec.

In light of all of that, the Defender did not sell badly in six months but was the fifth best-selling Land Rover vehicle in 2020. The Range Rover Sport took the top spot with 20,054 sold. Next was the Range Rover Full Size at (13,054). The Range Rover Velar took third (12,817), followed by Range Rover Evoque (10,511), Defender (9,100), Discovery Sport (7,759), and the historically weaker seller Discovery 5 (5,811). All told, Land Rover sold 80,034 vehicles in 2020*, down from 94,736 in 2019.

With all of these vehicles down on sales across twelve months, and Defender only sold for six months in difficult conditions, it seems like there’s momentum for it to continue to be a strong part of the Land Rover lineup in America. With the Defender 90 coming online in 2021 (expected to eventually make up 25% of sales), alongside hopefully-easier conditions for selling cars, it seems it’s only going to sell more next year.

*Source: Automotive News. December 2020 figures are estimates, as final numbers were not complete at the time of reporting.

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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.
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