Today marks 68 years of manufacturing the Land Rover vehicle and the Defender – and to mark the end of an era for the brands, the last vehicle from the series rolled off its Solihull production plant today, a Defender 90 Station Wagon colored Aintree Green.
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Over 700 past and present employees met at the Solihull facility to witness the occasion, and to also drive some of the most reputable vehicles round the facility, including the Huey Series 1, the first pre-production vehicle at the plant.
The last vehicle to leave the production line led 25 other spectacular vehicles from Defender’s history round about – to mark the first and last production of Series Land Rovers and Defenders at the plant within the past 68 years.
To perpetuate the spirit of the occasion, the company asked fans and old customers to upload photos of memorable journeys done with the Series Land Rover or Defender vehicles on its “Defender Journeys” platform, a digital scrapbook from where viewers will be able to see iconic trips of the past made in the iconic vehicles closing an auto era.
On the last day that the Defender would leave the production line forever, Land Rover commenced a new Heritage Restoration Program – where several expert employees will be moved from the current Defender production line to restore the functionality of several Series Land Rovers collected from around the world – and this will begin to sell from July 2016.
“The Defender and its Series Land Rover predecessors contain a rare quality; they connect with people emotionally,” said Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover.
“Today is about celebrating some of the wonderful stories and memories that these vehicles have generated over the years, particularly amongst our employees. But this is not the end for Defender – We have a glorious past to champion, and a wonderful future to look forward to,” Dr. Speth added.