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It’s the end of an era in the automotive industry as Land Rover has finalized production of the iconic Defender after being continuously built for 68 years.

After more than two million units assembled, the Defender is saying goodbye to make room for an all-new model. Land Rover organized today a celebratory event at the factory in Solihull where 700 current and former employees gathered around the final vehicle. They also had the opportunity to drive some of the most important models ever made, including the first pre-production “Huey” Series I and the very last unit, a Defender 90 Heritage Soft Top. The last classic Defender isn’t heading to a customer as it will remain in the Jaguar Land Rover Collection.

As for the replacement, it’s expected to come out in 2018 and will eventually spawn a lineup of five members: two two-door versions, a four-door long wheelbase, and a pickup set to be offered with two- and four-door body styles. The model family will basically mirror the classic Defender, but Land Rover director Gerry McGovern said the customer base will expand after making the cars more exciting while keeping the design instantly recognizable.

Before the new Defender’s arrival, Land Rover will launch next year the next-gen Discovery using an aluminum-intensive platform and with a seven-seat layout.

Source: Land Rover

Gallery: Land Rover Defender production ends after 68 years

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