Report: Billionaire seeks to resurrect iconic Land Rover Defender

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Last Land Rover Defender is built at famous Solihull plant in the United Kingdom - January 29, 2016

Last Land Rover Defender is built at famous Solihull plant in the United Kingdom - January 29, 2016

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Production of the iconic Land Rover Defender ceased in January after a run lasting more than decades.

While Land Rover is hard at work on a modern Defender, currently thought to be debuting in 2018, it’s being reported that there are efforts in place to resurrect the original.

The Sunday Times (subscription required) reports that billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, founder of chemicals giant Ineos, has been in talks with senior executives at Jaguar Land Rover about possibly purchasing the vehicle’s intellectual property rights or some of its tooling.

According to the British publication, Ratcliffe’s aim is to continue to build the go-anywhere SUV in the United Kingdom.

Land Rover made the tough decision to cease production of the Defender due to crash safety and emissions regulations. How Ratcliffe would avoid these without costly investments in the vehicle isn’t clear, though perhaps there is a waiver for small manufacturers similar to the Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act of 2015 here in the United States.

 
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