While we don’t know for sure whether or not the all-new Land Rover Defender will make it to U.S. shores, we do know that the automaker has plans will likely build the vehicle at Tata Motors’ manufacturing facility in Pune, India.
Tata chairman Ratan Tata told Autocar the main reasons for doing so would be to keep manufacturing costs down — possibly permitting an affordable pricetag — and to keep Defender operations close to Asia-Pacific markets, where Tata expects the iconic off-roader to sell in high volumes. Interestingly, some Defender models would be sent back to the Solihull plant in the U.K. for final assembly as part of what the company is calling a “reverse complete knock down” (CKD) operation.
If the plan gets the green light, there’s a good chance the Defender will share chassis and suspension parts with the Tata Aria SUV. The new Defender will be built upon the heavy-duty chassis used by the LR3, which has similar dimensions and specs to the Aria chassis and would allow it to share the same manufacturing process as the Aria. As for styling, executives have said that the DC concepts, which first debuted at the 2011 Frankfurt show, could offer a glimpse of what’s to come from the off-roader, but do not necessarily represent the final design.