Land Rover rolls out last Defender after 68 years

The last Land Rover Defender rolled off a production line in central Britain on Friday, 68 years after the company began making the iconic off-road model.

More than 700 current and former staff attended a ceremony at the Solihull plant to mark the end of production for the four-wheel-drive vehicle, which was first known as the Series Land Rover, said Jaguar Land Rover, owned by the Indian-based Tata Group.

"Today we celebrate what generations of men and women have done since the outline for the Land Rover was originally drawn in the sand," said Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover's chief executive.

The vehicle, orginally designed to rival the US classic Jeep model, built a reputation through its wide usage by British and other armed forces.

"The Series Land Rover, now Defender, is the origin of our legendary capability, a vehicle that makes the world a better place, often in some of the most extreme circumstances," Speth said.

Queen Elizabeth II has also driven Defenders on her rural estates in Britain. 

The Defender production line will be converted into a restoration facility for some of the more than two million Defenders sold worldwide, Speth said.

Land Rover dubs the Defender "the epitome of toughness, of ruggedness, of strength and most importantly of capability" and rates it as capable of driving on slopes of up to 45 degrees.

Last update: Fri, 29/01/2016 - 16:08
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