England

Land Rover Defender Solihull production ends

  • 29 January 2016
  • From the section England
Media captionMore than two million have been made since production began in Solihull in 1948

The last Land Rover Defender has rolled off the production line amid cheers, ending 67 years of the 4x4 being made.

Jaguar Land Rover has discontinued the famous off-road vehicle, which has been exported across the world.

More than two million have been made since the original Land Rover Series began production in Solihull in 1948.

Plans to bring in stricter measures for new car emissions by 2020 meant there were "certain conditions the Defender just won't meet", the company said.

Defenders of the rich and famous

The last Defender: Is Land Rover's off-road heyday over?

More on the Defender and updates from Birmingham and Black Country

A "big turnout" of "cheering workers and media everywhere" accompanied the completion of the last Defender at about 10:00 GMT, said BBC Midlands Today's transport correspondent Peter Plisner.

Image copyright PA
Image caption As the last Defender came down the production line its lights were flashed and its horn honked
Image caption Jeff Shannon, who has been making Land Rovers for 40 years, retires on the same day as the Defender
Image caption Nick Petricca said it was an "emotional" day, but he would be proud to tell his grandchildren he worked on the last Defender

"It's the death of an icon," said Simon Collins, Warwickshire and West Midlands Land Rover Club secretary.

Media captionIn a word: Fans pay tribute to Land Rover Defender

Peter Plisner, BBC Midlands Today

There were cheers and sadness this morning as we witnessed the last Defender roll off the production line after almost 70 years; the longest-running production car in the world.

We heard about a family in which three generations had worked on the Defender and the Series of models before it. Some workers also chose today to retire rather than transfer to other parts of the plant.

All 700 employees who worked on the Defender were invited to a farewell event to the iconic model. Land Rover also brought in some of the vehicles from the past. It was quite a send-off.


Motoring journalist Quentin Willson said the Defender would live on.

"With some 70% of Land Rovers ever built still around we will still be able to cuddle them and see them on the road. And while we can shed a tear, there are still lots and lots of Land Rovers," he said.

A replacement model for the Defender is being developed, said the manufacturer.

Image copyright Jaguar Land Rover
Image caption Land Rover enthusiasts have been lamenting the end of an era

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites