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Jamie_grieve

Thoughts and musings on the new defender

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Yesterday, I had the arboriculturalists [tree-surgeons] contracted by Scottish&Southern Energy come to do do the five-yearly growing-Ash-tree-clearance of the 33Kv powerlines that run over my land.

In the past they had Defender-110s as their standard transport, and a 6-wheeled (6x4) Defender-130 carried their cherry-picker for extended access. And a Defender 130 HCPU with built-up sides to haul away logs/wood-chips.

They still have the cherry-picker D130. They own it outright. You can't get a 3-year lease on Defenders any more so the 110s have been replaced by top-of-the-range 3.2 auto "Wildtrak" Ford Rangers and the replacement for the HCPU is a Mitsubishi "FUSO" tipper-truck.

Later in the day their boss came by and I had a chat with me over a couple of cups of coffee [he saw my 90TD5, and got on well with my dog]. He says that the Rangers are faster, more crew-friendly and more economical than the 110s, automatics don't suffer clutch-burnout issues when shunting trailers in the yard, and that the replacement for the cherry-picker will probably be UNIMOG-based.

He said that the biggest 'traction' challenges his guys have were when contour-following over the downs on early-morning-dew-wet spring grass while towing a loaded trailer. Tail-wagging-the-dog, the tow-vehicle tends to end up having its back-end dragged through-90-degrees and pointing straight-up the incline, which is not-easy to recover from.

The boss drives a V8 LandCruiser which he says is better than any Range-Rover. I wonder how any "Defender 4.0" will address these sorts of considerations?

[Me? Well, I've gained a couple of tons of logs and a bit of enlightenment from the chat].


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4 hours ago, Tanuki said:

I wonder how any "Defender 4.0" will address these sorts of considerations?

I think we all do and hopefully the engineers at JLR have been busy working on it as the memory of utility land rovers fades across multiple sectors.

Modern compact engine mounted hydraulic pumps are easily fitted to any of the common pickups out there now so small hydraulic loads like winches and tippers for the likes of arborists can be easily catered for which used to be the sole domain of the defender.  I'd love for the pto to be continued for heavy duty applications needing more than 20kw on the defender replacement but I think that really is wishful thinking as I guess the rear prop will be aligned with the mainshaft as on other JLR products and it would be unlikely they would have a pto equipped gearbox just for the tiny proportion of defender replacements that would order it.

V8 land cruisers are awesome, especially the diesel ones. They have a sort of industrial charm about them regardless of how high spec you get and you can still get a brand new V8 common rail diesel without any emissions equipment at all for use in certain markets that still use high sulphur diesel.

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The councils, utilities and environment agencies around here used to run lots of defenders for that sort of work, now they have either shogun commercials or pickups. Mostly Isuzu, Toyota or Ford. Ford give huge discounts to government type organisations. The thing is a pickup can be had for £16,000, it has a solid chassis and there are companies up and down the country that will fit tipper bodies, boxes for tree chippings, cherry pickers etc etc to them as it's relatively easy when you have a steel box chassis to attach to. The amarok even comes with a plug under the dash for you to connect your own lights etc to and these have been converted to ambulances, even the wheelbase has been stretched on some like the land rover special vehicle department would've once done. 

The new defender will be a better on and offroader than the pickups as it will have a better proportioned body, more supple suspension and better traction control / 4x4 system, but I doubt it will be as well priced or as flexible and at the end of the day any of the above with a decent set of tyres will get across a wet field which is all most people need to do. 

I think the new defender will be more lifestyle like the wrangler is in this country. It can do this and that but most people won't. I do think it will sell well though. 

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On 12/12/2018 at 12:53 PM, Red90 said:

Go drive a modern Land Rover off road and get back to me.  They can stop completely dead.  I know it may seem crazy, but I'm only making statements based on real world experience.

Exactly my experience. It works fine in relatively mild conditions or high-grip situations like grass (the other vid) or a dealer test track.

Put them somewhere where they really have to work, and work for a long time, and it'll either struggle or break. I remember somebody blowing the whole top off a then-new Discovery 2 ABS/ETC modulator and commenting that it was probably because it was 'on all the time'.

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I think that those of you who believe the new model will be a working vehicle are mistaken.  Land Rover have behaved for some while now as if they're embarrassed to be associated with blue collar workers or manual labour.  It seems fairly clear it will be a lifestyle vehicle, not a fleet or working vehicle.

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So think pink, Barbie waving to her friends SUV rather than Action Man Lightweight ? 😊

Mo

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But it appears some Rolex flashers are plonking down a grand deposit on a build slot booking for a vehicle that they have no idea what will be like yet.

"I must be one of the first to own one and show the lemmings I can pee higher than them" syndrome.

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3 hours ago, Happyoldgit said:

But it appears some Rolex flashers are plonking down a grand deposit on a build slot booking for a vehicle that they have no idea what will be like yet.

"I must be one of the first to own one and show the lemmings I can pee higher than them" syndrome.

Quite a few did that for the new Mercedes pickup and pulled out when it was actually released. It's a good example of parts bin engineering not working out for a premium brand.

I think we're all in agreement that based on current prototype evidence that the defender replacement will just be the illusion of a utility vehicle, but we can live in hope that they make something useful until we're actually proved otherwise.

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3 hours ago, Happyoldgit said:

But it appears some Rolex flashers are plonking down a grand deposit on a build slot booking for a vehicle that they have no idea what will be like yet.

"I must be one of the first to own one and show the lemmings I can pee higher than them" syndrome.

Something similar's been the case for Morgans in the past: when the "Plus8" model was announced a few decades back they sold the first year's production-run before anyone had seen/driven it.

This:  https://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/jaguar-land-rover-%E2%80%98poised-cut-5000-jobs%E2%80%99

 

is of note.  JLR bet the farm on Diesels and Chinese sales: now the world's turning big-time against Diesel and China's having  a bit of a slowdown.

 

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And no fleet/utility/military orders to underpin the cash flow, either.

All the eggs in the "premium" sector.

Ah well.

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5000 jobs to go, and much of the media are falsely blaming Brexit including the BBC, of course) when even LR admitted that it is the Chinese market and the EU diesel issue doing the damage.  I wonder if a quicker Brexit would have lessened their problems.

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Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story 😞

Mo

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I think the other way they look at it is that there are lots of people who see an expensive car as a sign that they are better. So if the guy parked next to them at the gym is in a £60k Lexus and they're in a £100k Range Rover that makes them feel good. If Land Rover turned their Range Rover out for £50k the buyer wouldn't be happy as it's cheaper than the Lexus. And today the purchase price is often not that important as most are HP, leased, company vehicles etc and the list price isn't the only factor in what that monthly bill is.

I understand why they do what they do, common parts with the other products, maximum profit per slot on the production line etc but it is a shame they couldn't just update the defender in terms of make the panels fit, stop is going rotten and make the driving position a bit more comfortable rather than load it up with electronic gizmos and turn it into another SUV.

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23 hours ago, Anderzander said:

It all went down hill from when it stopped being made by the Rover Company.

Hmmmm, I dunno, Rover didn't exactly invest in the brand like Tata have. At least a defender replacement is currently on the cards and whether or not we like the thing from a defender perspective, there's a chance for a few UK or Slovakian jobs. I just don't understand why they don't spend more on quality engineering instead of using quality marketing to replace it.How hard is it to convince the bean counters that building in reliability will ultimately be good for the balance sheet? I saw the attached image on social media, it seemed to fact check ok.

 

48375012_10216770549069747_1268949096920514560_o.jpg

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Tata have invested, but they aren't managing the brand.  They have lost their hard earned reputation as a serious working off road tool and are now regarded as the preserve of footballers and drug dealers.  They are increasingly associated with new money and poor taste.  But worse is their poor decision making, not only their over-reliance on diesel at the worst possible timing, but the model and brand confusion going on by having so many sub models within the Range Rover and Discovery names.  By creating so many different models, sub models and sub-specifications, they are not only losing the benefits of scale in production, becoming inefficient, but are also competing with themselves. , further compounded by increasing competition with Jaguar (who are now, ridiculously, in the SUV market and polluting their luxury and sports car name too). It's a very foolish position to be in.

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1 hour ago, Jamie_grieve said:

Hmmmm, I dunno, Rover didn't exactly invest in the brand like Tata have.  

It was tongue in cheek 😊

I think Rover invested all the profits into a jet car or the like didn’t they?  😂 

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On 12/17/2018 at 7:57 AM, Mo Murphy said:

So think pink, Barbie waving to her friends SUV rather than Action Man Lightweight ? 😊

Mo

Sadly, that's probably about the size of it.

 

Interestingly, there is a chap over on Defender2 who is adamant that a mate of his who works in the media has got embargoed information about a release of something on a new model on 27 December, but he won't share any more than that. Claims to have seen an email from Land Rover about it but not the actual information subsequently sent. We shall see. Seems like an odd time of year to launch a new vehicle to me.

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Release details and a physical vehicle with production release for the new 2019 plate?

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1 hour ago, BogMonster said:

 a release of something on a new model on 27 December, but he won't share any more than that

JLR have said the same on one of their social meejas:

https://jalopnik.com/the-new-land-rover-defender-looks-just-like-a-mercedes-1831177304

Quote

Early Tuesday, Land Rover posted this low-resolution photo to its Facebook page with the coy caption: “Do not unwrap until 2019.”

We reached out to Land Rover’s PR people and only got one scrap: “more info to come on December 27.”

 

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My boss ordered a new jimny yesterday, getting it first quarter next year. I'm excited and it's not even my car :lol: The dealer has an allocation of 6 between now and September and he was number 5. :o

I think the new defender could go the same way at the outset just for the newness and hype. 

Some fun details in this article https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/2020-land-rover-defender-everything-202800775.html

Edited by Cynic-al

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The Jimny is a bit oddball, the UK has only been allocated 1000 vehicles for the first year. I believe dealers only know their allocation until March at present and you can't actually order one, only by on allocation.

I'm sure any new Defender will sell well initially for the yuppie status. But LR would be fools to restrict numbers to 1000 units in the UK.

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On 12/17/2018 at 10:57 AM, Mo Murphy said:

So think pink, Barbie waving to her friends SUV rather than Action Man Lightweight ? 😊

Mo

I expected it to be a G wagon where they’re going.

A premium luxury off road product to keep their historical trading identity alive, claim their dna is intact so to speak, but shifting it up into a niche market.

They want the margins of luxury cars, they are happy to do low production runs, and they still want to trade on their history. Like the V8 Ltd edition they did - that was a long way from a utility vehicle..

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2 hours ago, Chicken Drumstick said:

The Jimny is a bit oddball, the UK has only been allocated 1000 vehicles for the first year. I believe dealers only know their allocation until March at present and you can't actually order one, only by on allocation.

I'm sure any new Defender will sell well initially for the yuppie status. But LR would be fools to restrict numbers to 1000 units in the UK.

Sounds about right, he was told September if he wanted the high spec but he wanted the low spec with the steel wheels so was able to get one. It was the same when I got my Amarok, I ordered it in the November and was the 7th in the queue at that dealer and didn't get it until the May. The production line takes a while to get up to speed then does a batch of right hand drive in various colours and specs, then they commissioned the line and did a batch of right hand drive in various specs and colours, and of course these were shared between UK, Australia, Thailand etc. 

I guess someone has looked at how many each country take as a proportion and allocate the production line accordingly. I honestly wouldn't know what proportion of Defenders were sold in the UK vs the rest of the world. 

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4 hours ago, Cynic-al said:

My boss ordered a new jimny yesterday, getting it first quarter next year. I'm excited and it's not even my car 

If we could get one here, that is what I would go for.  Sadly Suzuki does not like the new world. 

Land Rover is a lost cause.  Ignoring the ugly and unreliable junk they are producing, it is all way too expensive.

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