back to article Land Rover Defender dies: Production finally halted by EU rules

The iconic Land Rover Defender is to cease production today after 33 years in continuous production. Built by Jaguar Land Rover at its Solihull factory, the Defender can trace its roots through the original Series vehicles back to 1948, making it one of world’s first four-wheel-drive vehicles. The Land Rover was conceived by …

Silver badge

very good analogy with the AK47. Simple, durable, timeless ,

but not as good as modern equivalents

18
3
Anonymous Coward

And much like the Kalashnikov Klassic, heavy, uncomfortable, unweildy and inefficient.

16
2
Silver badge

Exactly. The Russians replaced AK47 with AK74 for some very good reasons.

5
0
Anonymous Coward

yet

the rest of the world continues to keep with the 47 over the 74.

The Russians understood that the way to beat a Western enemy is to wound one and at least two will be taken off the field.

the rest of the world wants that big ol' 7.62 to eliminate the ideologically and/or chemically motivated target that it's similarly fortified fellows will leave behind without a thought.

Both NATO and former Warsaw Pact bureaucracies designed their militaries to fight each other, and with blinders on, ignored the rest of the world. Notice how the 7.62/.308 is coming back into favor among NATO weapons systems over the last decade as some people start getting the clue.

Sometimes big, heavy, and British is the solution. Whether .303, or Winston Churchill, or Land Rover Defender, you need weight to throw around that can "go the distance".

11
3

>> The Russians replaced AK47 with AK74 for some very good reasons.

I hope they come out with a Rover Land.

9
0

Re: yet

The reason for the return of the 7.62/.308 is the longer engagement distances inherent in today’s wars. 5.56 etc does not have the range.

3
4
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: yet

Please.

No-one is "going back" to FAL battle rifle or old AKM, but of course stocks exists, same as you can find admittedly glorious fascist MP-44 in Middle East.

Indeed, AK series have moved on to AK-103 since long time, comrade. Now even very different AK-107 being considered for general usage.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: yet

Assault rifles were developed with two ideas: each soldier carries a weapon capable of full auto fire and the maximum effective range is about 500m. First had sub requirements of lightness and control. All could be achieved by using an intermediate size round. The second requirement came about because it was noticed in WWI most soldiers did fire their rifles at targets over about 4-500m. The rifles used in WWI and WWII are accurate at over 1000 m.

The important dimension is not the caliber of the round but the length of the cartridge. Assault rifle ammunition is longer than pistol but shorter than a Lee-Enfield, Mauser, Moisin-Nagant, or M1 Garand round, which are about the length and caliber. Thus the assault rifle has an effective range longer than a pistol but shorter than the other rifles.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: yet

"are those live rounds???"

"...seven ... six ... two ........ millimetre ........ full ... metal .... jacket ...."

3
0
Coat

"Exactly. The Russians replaced AK47 with AK74 for some very good reasons."

Dyslexia?

9
0
Anonymous Coward

I went off-roading in a friend's Series II once. Sure, I came out very bruised and had to double de-clutch, but were the modern equivalents better? If the Series 3 rescuing the Range Rover whose rear overhang had grounded it in a small ditch was anything to go by, no.

2
0

This post has been deleted by its author

Gold badge
Facepalm

It's a good joke, but.....

Having actually been in the situation of being out in the arse-end of nowhere with both a Land Rover and a Toyota Land Cruiser, there was only one thing that stopped the Land Rover.

It had to, repeatedly, to pull the sodding Toyota out of whatever it had got stuck in this time.

85
2
Silver badge

Re: It's a good joke, but.....

Yep.

Visited the 'Empty Quarter' of Saudi in 2002. Three vehicles. Toyota Land Cruiser with all the goodies and two ex Army Landies with winches. These were needed because while the LC was nice and cool with its A/C it kept getting bogged down in places that it shouldn't have.

The landies with their 4WD-Low ratio gearbox came in very useful getting the Land Cruiser going again.

Next time we went we were all in Landies.

22
1

Re: It's a good joke, but.....

My mileage differs. I worked on seismic crews in Africa in the 80's, and we drove Toyota Land Cruisers (the old upright type with running boards) without problems. Then one client insisted we use Land Rovers, so they were shipped in but the corrugated desert roads shook them so much that the aluminium panels cracked and fell away. They couldn't be welded back on so they were riveted and screwed on to keep them together. Then the rainy season came and the Lucas electrics failed. Within a year they were all scrapped and we went back to our faithful (and reliable) steel-bodied Toyotas.

On a trip to west Africa last year, I only saw two Land Rovers, and they were both ancient. All the other 4x4s were Japanese.

15
1
Silver badge

Re: It's a good joke, but.....

"If you want to go into the outback, drive a Land Rover. If you want to come back again, drive a Toyota."

this is partly because you can get spares easily for land cruisers, not so much for landies, as the locals told me when we were stranded in butt fuck nowhere for 6 weeks.

and dont even think about taking a Pajero (mitsubishi shogun - was called a shogun in europe because pajero means straw sucker in spansih which is slang for cock sucker).

we got stuck at Moreton telegraph station on the way back from successfully making it up the telegraph track to "the tip".

stuck for 6 weeks with a warped head and after much head scratching and changing of parts, a bent cam.

had to fly in parts (one plane a week) and fix it with super glue and chewing gum. ok, i made the last bit up but it was really really difficult, few tools, and if you didnt get the right part / enough parts you had to wait a week for the next delivery...

the folks we went with had a cruiser. they had zero problems, they had to rescue us soooo many times.

8
0

Re: Africa

Different mileage again in Kenya. Lots of Japanese vehicles in Nairobi, nearly everything on the road (I think I saw one VW). However out on the reserves (Samburo and Masai Mara) almost everything was a Land Rover of some sort (each camp customised them differently). Only one camp seemed to be using Toyotas - at the very least they were outnumbered by the mini-buses of the budget safaris (which had to be careful where they went, our land rover on the other hand the guide would happily park in rivers to watch hippos).

2
0
Silver badge

Re: It's a good joke, but.....

My mileage differs. I worked on seismic crews in Africa in the 80's, and we drove Toyota Land Cruisers (the old upright type with running boards) without problems. Then one client insisted we use Land Rovers, so they were shipped in but the corrugated desert roads shook them so much that the aluminium panels cracked and fell away.

African countries can be divided into Landy countries and Landcruiser/Hilux countries. They have different track widths, and trying to run one in a country meant for the other is bound to cause problems.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: It's a good joke, but.....

the Lucas electrics failed

Not much of a surprise there, then...

8
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: It's a good joke, but.....

African countries can be divided into Landy countries and Landcruiser/Hilux countries. They have different track widths, and trying to run one in a country meant for the other is bound to cause problems.

Go on then, tell us which countries are which. What Land Rover marketing materials have you been smoking?

1
2
N2

Just

Tell the EU beauocratic seat polishers to fuck off & mind there own business, the only restrictions required is on their own emissions, preferably reduced to zero.

Moving house from Brussels to Strabourgh every frikkin month then mankin about something good thats British? Jesus talk about pot, kettle & black.

34
47
Silver badge

Re: Just

Actually, it is not just the Eurocrats. In fact they should be second in line for the spoilsport title.

The death knell of the Defender sounded the moment Blair and Co made into a "car" out of a commercial vehicle while keeping crew cab trucks as commercials. It has been selling less and less from that point onwards.

The 2020 emission regs are just the final nail in the coffin. The remainder of the coffin has been put together by Brown and Osbourne for many years.

If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset the same way you can do with an L200, Denver, Navarra, etc it would have sold enough for Tata to try to find a way around the regs. After all, everyone who is building pickups have managed to get something lined up for that date somehow.

29
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Just

New rules around vehicles come out all the time. Emissions, safety, recyclaibility - a whole host of things.

This vehicle is ending production because the Indian company that owns Land Rover don't want to invest any more money in updating it. I'd imagine that they're also not very keen on the amount of hand-building that goes on to make it - I doubt it's very profitable for them.

Oh, and it's "their", not "there".

32
3
Silver badge

Re: Just

Well, according to JLR there is a replacment under development. At this point in time, no one should criticise Tata/JLR for lack of investment. They have sunk and are continuing to sink an awful lot of money into JLR. Wasn't a new £150M investment announced only a week or so ago.

15
0
Silver badge

Re: Just

All they needed to do was put a more modern, emissions compliant drive unit in the thing. There are a lot of them out there, even from their parent company.

Whilst it is a brilliant utilitarian vehicle, it can't compete with a Range Rover or Land Cruiser on the gruelling school run, so it probably isn't worth the investment in "cleaning up its act" to sell it to those who actually could benefit from one.

I can remember hurtling across Ashdown Forest in a V8 long bed with the windscreen clapped down.

8
0
Silver badge

If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset

It is tax deductible, just not the Station Wagon variant.

I went through all this with my accountant when buying a 110 SW. There is a specific line in the tax rules about the SW - it meets all requirements for being a commercial vehicle except they see it as a 'lifestyle vehicle'

To make it compliant, I'd have to remove the 3rd row seats and remove the step from the rear.

Bizarre rules.

8
0

Re: Just

Bit confused here. They are stopping Defender production in 2016 because it doesn't meet 2020 emission regulations. But VW can continue production of diesel vehicles that do not meet the 2015 emission standards. Doesn't compute. Well not without a nifty bit of naughty software ...

20
1

Re: Just

"it can't compete with a Range Rover or Land Cruiser on the gruelling school run"

And that in a nut-shell is the problem.

4x4s have no place on the school run! Your little darlings will be just as safe in a "normal" car... In fact everyone else's kids would be safer if the view wasn't obscured by massively proportioned 4x4s parked up round the schools.

The Defender was a utilitarian work horse. It's not supposed to be cruising Chelsea! I've had the pleasure of driving many Landies, and on the roads they can be cumbersome (especially with a bit of slack in the steering box!), but point them at a field, down a dirt track, through a flood and they're superb!

31
1

Re: Just

"All they needed to do was put a more modern, emissions compliant drive unit in the thing. There are a lot of them out there, even from their parent company."

It's not emissions. I mean yes, they would have to eventually - but the current unit has been running a lightly modified Puma engine from the Transit. The Transit will need a new engine in 2020, as will lots of other vehicles. Emissions aren't the reason, but they're another embuggerance that has made "now" the time to do it.

The specific reason it is going in January 2016 (and not 2020) is that as of next month new regs come in on airbags and general safety in commercial vehicles - they gave Defender a stay of execution when those regs came in for cars by reclassifying it as a commercial vehicle, but it's caught up with them.

You can fit a Series II door into the Defender frame, which tells you as much as you need to know about how much the bodywork has been updated over the decades and how much thought went into fitting such niceties as airbags (which didn't exist back then!).

They couldn't export to North America, and so the time had come to build from the ground up a new vehicle which could be exported globally and made with modern manufacturing techniques (not 3 guys with rivet guns fabricating the rear tub from a dozen separate panels when a modern design could be stamped in a second by a machine).

13
0
MJI
Silver badge

Re: Just

Actually I don't like the more modern EU compliant engines, too much to go wrong.

Not against electronics as they can be reliable, but with the latest EU mode bringing in engine disabling for running out of pee, for EGR failure, various things which do not matter 1000s of miles from a dealer.

The Defender was best pre Transit engine, when it still had one of the the two Land Rover designed engine families in it. That being either the 2.5 direct injection based on series engine (300TDi) or the 5 pot lump to replace it (TD5).

With a Land Rover you want it to be repairable, you don't want to be stuck in Africa because the EGR failed. Even my 2003 100" estate can run fine with no EGR and only one working sensor if it had to.

6
1
Silver badge

Re: If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset

It is tax deductible

Weird. The rules when I was buying my pickup were load based for things that are not an obvious van. Based on the explanation from Isuzu, you had to be able to carry 1 ton to be classified as a commercial. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts. I still ended up paying all of it and VAT as I bought it private at the end of the day, but I did the checks.

So by that rule most sane Defender models do not qualify: http://www.landrover.co.uk/Images/DEFENDER_tcm295-140413.pdf

All 90-es do not qualify unless they are in an obvious "2 seats and no windows" van incarnation. The 110 station wagon does not qualify either, you need to have the "obvious" pickup version of the 110 for that or 130-es which are as rare as a white swallow. I cannot think of when I saw one recently.

1
0

Re: Just

"This vehicle is ending production because the Indian company that owns Land Rover don't want to invest any more money in updating it. I'd imagine that they're also not very keen on the amount of hand-building that goes on to make it - I doubt it's very profitable for them."

I'm actually surprised that Tata haven't thought about moving production to India.

A lot of the problems of profitability would go away if it was built based on Indian labour rates, and the Defender brand is probably less sensitive than Range Rover to being made overseas (FFS, they make Evoques on Merseyside). They may also find that a reduced price will then improve volumes, with more sales to developing countries where the emissions regulations are less stringent.

And if they can keep production going then they can look at other possibilities in the power-train; electric Landie anyone?

1
0
TRT
Silver badge

Re: Just

Does it go through a river deep enough to cover the bonnet?

3
0
Devil

Re: Bit confused here.

Gasoline produces CO2 which is bad for the environment but diesel doesn't. Because AlGore said so.

6
7

Re: Just

"... and so the time had come to build from the ground up a new vehicle which could be exported globally and made with modern manufacturing techniques (not 3 guys with rivet guns fabricating the rear tub from a dozen separate panels when a modern design could be stamped in a second by a machine)."

Ah - so the replacement will be much cheaper then? Do you want to bet the list price difference on that?

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Just

4x4s have no place on the school run! Your little darlings will be just as safe in a "normal" car...

And as safe, and much healthier, on a bicycle.

7
3
Happy

Re: Just

@TRT

"Does it go through a river deep enough to cover the bonnet?"

The diesel version fitted with a snorkel can go through a river deep enough to cover the roof. It attaches to the air intake hole in OS front wing.

4
0
sgp

Re: Just

Mercedes still invests in its equally hand-built G-wagen. The price difference between a G and a Defender gives the decision away.

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Just

> The Defender was a utilitarian work horse. It's not supposed to be cruising Chelsea!

Nor is it particularly nice on highways.

One of the reasons $orkplace dumped the (series 2 actually, IIRC) for landcruisers in the early 80s was because the latter didn't handle like pregnant whales on tarmac. The other reason was that whilst landies are generally easy to repair when the motor stops, toyotas tend not to stop in the first place.

As for getting bogged - as a kid in the 70s I saw plenty of landies being pulled out of farm tracks by landcruisers and vice-versa, although the cruisers tended to have enough power to barge through thanks to their 4 litre inline 6 (I know landcruisers came in smaller engine variants but noone with any sense bought those). If you're going to venture onto dodgy ground make sure you know WHAT kind of dodgy ground it is and make bloody sure your winch is working. A couple of land anchors don't go amiss either.

(Then there was the dodgy electrics and the oil leaks all over the carpark - neither of which plagued the toyotas. It's no fun having to try and drive 100 miles back to base from a mountaintop with 1 headlamp out and the other flickering)

4
0
Silver badge

Re: Just

Bit confused here. They are stopping Defender production in 2016 because it doesn't meet 2020 emission regulations. But VW can continue production of diesel vehicles that do not meet the 2015 emission standards. Doesn't compute. Well not without a nifty bit of naughty software ...

There you have it in a nut shell, it has nothing to do with EU emissions and everything to do with the willingness to update it with modern engines and safety standards.

Plus the VWs can meet the regulations, but will either have less power or need more AdBlue, increasing running costs.

4
0
TRT
Silver badge

Re: Just

@PCar, I meant the electric version proposed by another commentard. I've seen the snorkel versions. They also have the high level exhaust. An all-electric drivetrain wouldn't need the intake or exhaust I guess.

0
0

Re: Just

Respect. What you get with 2.5 tonnes around you and 1 tonne being driven by a twat coming towards you.

0
7

Re: Just

You just have the EGR deleted from the management system.....along with the pee-gone detection

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Just

"Not against electronics as they can be reliable, but with the latest EU mode bringing in engine disabling for running out of pee, for EGR failure, various things which do not matter 1000s of miles from a dealer."

I have no doubt there will be remapped firmware for those situations, either officially or unofficially.

0
0
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Just

"The diesel version fitted with a snorkel can go through a river deep enough to cover the roof. It attaches to the air intake hole in OS front wing."

I saw a Landy with a snorkel attachment parked up in Wetherby Services the other day. Despite being about 10 years old, the vehicle looked to be in highly polished perfect nick. I'm still wondering if that snorkel was just a poseur extra of if the driver genuinely expected to have a real use for it here in the UK.

0
0
x 7
Silver badge

Re: Just

"parked up in Wetherby Services"

been plenty of floods in an around Leeds over the years

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Just

They did try once to export it to North America, with an external rollcage. However federal regulations kept moving the goalposts and they gave up in the end.

0
0
Vic

Re: If it was tax-deductible as a capital asset

Based on the explanation from Isuzu, you had to be able to carry 1 ton to be classified as a commercial. No ifs, no buts, no coconuts.

That is certainly not true across the board.

The smaller version of my van has a 600Kg carrying capacity. That's definitely a commercial,

Vic.

0
0

Re: Just

If it has a snorkel fitted, then yes.

Loads of them do. Look for a black plastic pipe up the side of the windscreen to above roof height.

Though how the driver copes when the water is that deep beats me. Land Rover bodies are not famed for being watertight.

0
0
Gold badge
Alert

Military use.

Another one.

An ex-squaddie mate was in the Balkans. They learned very quickly to sleep in their Land Rovers as, if one was left unattended overnight, it would magically change into a shiny, new Humvee.

A Land Rover would fit down all the little village roads in the Balkans, whereas a Humvee wouldn't and the American army is actually quite resourceful when it comes to securing the correct kit for the job in hand.

48
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018