LAND ROVER EXPORTS
DEFENDER TO JAPAN
Copyright 2001 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ November 13th 2001 ]
Rover is hoping to cash in on Japan's love of
British motoring icons by exporting its workhorse
Defender there for the first time in its 53-year
history. Japan became the biggest export market
for the Mini, even when sales were falling in
the UK, and the new MINI is also expected to become
a big seller there. Land Rover intends to sell
just 400 Defenders a year in Japan, with demand
likely to be high because of its rarity value.
Solihull-based company decided the time was right
to to launch the Defender in the Land of the Rising
Sun because of the success it has had with its
Freelander V6 model, which went on sale there
in February. The publicity surrounding the special
Lara Croft limited edition version of the Defender,
which featured in the film Tomb Raider, has also
sparked demand for the vehicle.
Rover spokeswoman said: "The Japanese love British
motoring icons and you can't get more iconic than
the Defender. Exports will start next year and
we hope that it might become a cult vehicle among
Japanese drivers. Certainly with the recent success
of Freelander there and the established sales
of Range Rover and Discovery the name of Land
Rover is well-known in Japan, so now seems the
right time to launch the Defender."
range in price from pounds 17,500 for the more
traditional versions used on farms to pounds 26,265
for the smart Defender 90 County Station Wagon.
The Defenders exported to Japan are likely to
be the County versions, which have also found
favour among smart city drivers in London. The
models exported to Japan are expected to retail
there for the same price as they sell in the UK.