The Land Rover Defender production

Land Rover
The Land Rover Defender production
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D he venerable halls in Solihull, in which the Defender is still built in a very handcrafted manner, appear in the middle of the remaining modern production facilities on the huge factory area as if out of time. While the Range Rover and Discovery are being assembled on the most modern production lines in the glistening bright and sparkling clean production palaces next door, the Defender production is rather cozy and nostalgic.

Land Rover Defender production - like back then

For many years it was almost impossible for outsiders to take a look behind the scenes. Journalists, armed with cameras, begged in vain to be admitted, while the modern production facilities of the other models were demonstrated with pleasure and pride. There are also a number of anecdotes about the production of the Defender, which is not lacking in anachronism until modern times.

A circumstance that also made the perfection-loving German engineers sometimes desperate. Rover owners sent large numbers to Solihull and who, with their modernization ideas, did not turn everything around for the better when building the terrain legend. In retrospect, this is also an almost entertaining episode from a work that has been making history for almost 80 years.

Solihull was only an aircraft engine factory

Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War, the Solihull factory literally opened up the greenfield: it was part of the 'Shadow Factories' plan of the British government, in the course of which aircraft production was accelerated in view of the impending threat of war. Solihull was one of over two dozen such 'shadow factories' and was given state funding to the Rover Company.

From 1940 to 1946, Rover produced aircraft engines in Solihull, but they started immediately after the war there again with the car production. After the Rover main plant in Coventry was destroyed by bombing, Solihull was chosen as the new Rover headquarters. A year later, a small, angular four-wheel drive took its first steps there, the rest is automobile history.

To this day, a lot of Defender production is still manual work. Here the heavy ladder frame is balanced in an assembly frame, and there two body panels are joined together, rivet by rivet. Where one hall further with the Land Rover siblings busy robots diepiecing together modern bodies piece by piece, most parts of the total work of art in the Land Rover Defender are meticulously put into place.

One year before the Land Rover Defender finally comes to an end, at least in Solihull, it is an almost melancholy look into the production that we present to you in the photo gallery and the almost ten-minute video. If you hurry, you can experience it in person: from now on Land Rover is also offering a guided tour of the Land Rover Defender factory for 45 pounds.

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