Production of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) next-generation Land Rover Defender 4x4 will move to Slovakia, the company said today.

The current Defender model was built at the firm's Solihull factory until 2016.

The company said the new model has been designed and engineered in the UK and that its engines assembled in Wolverhampton.

 

A JLR statement said: " 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.

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

"This decision is in parallel with plans for significant investment at the company’s Solihull plant in the UK to support the production of the next generation of flagship Range Rover and Land Rover models."

The new Land Rover Defender during testing
 

JLR opened its £1bn Slovakia factory in October 2018.

The new model is set to be unveiled later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show and to go on sale early in 2020

The Land Rover Defender and its predecessors have been made at Solihull since 1948, with more than two million produced.

In January 2016, production came to a close after 68 years.

JLR site in Lode Lane Solihull
JLR site in Lode Lane Solihull

More than 700 people, including current and former employees and special guests, attended a special celebration to mark the end of a key chapter of Land Rover history at the  Lode Lane plant  .

They witnessed the final Defender rolling off the production line before a ceremony hosted by former Top Gear presenters Vicki Butler-Henderson and Quentin Wilson.

 

Nigel Blenkinsop, operations director at the Solihull plant, previously said in all  2,016,933 Defenders  and its Land Rover predecessor had been built and that the manufacturing process had changed little in almost 70 years.

“Land Rover was the start of the Solihull story and we would not be here without it,” he added.

“It was also the first aluminium vehicle and today Jaguar Land Rover is a world leader in aluminium technology.”

The last Land Rover Defender coming off the production line at Solihull.
The last Land Rover Defender coming off the production line at Solihull.

The original Land Rover was the brainchild of Maurice Wilks, Rover’s chief engineer , who famously sketched his original design in the sand on an Anglesey beach for his brother Spencer, who was managing director of the Rover Company.

 

It was created as part of a drive to get British car manufacturing moving again in the wake of the Second World War.

Launched at the 1948 Amsterdam Motor Show, the idea was based on the US Army’s Willys Jeep, a multi-purpose vehicle used by the Allies during the war.