Re: Why are they ending it now?
Basically, because the last 30 years, no real money was invested in it. Yes, we had the TD5 engine when it was BMW, and Ford put a Transit engine and gearbox in it as well as a new dash when they aquired it.
The whole drive system is basically a throwback from the 60's. You can't even fit a more modern pokey engine in it or it will rip out the drive line.
I owned one for 8 years and loved it. But without serious mods to the engine it was slow, noisy, sprung like a brick, there was an inch of water in it when you passed a lorry on the motorway in the rain, the heating was anemic, when you got the aircon the co-driver needed his/her feet amputated an so on and so forth.
Simply put, in our modern, comfortable society, the circumstances which required the existance of the Defender and its ilk have gone.
And what's left of the worldwide market is owned by the 70 series Land Cruiser, still produced by Toyota in compliance with Euro-Nowt emission standards, with a near indestructable 4.2 diesel sixpot and driveline.