Land Rover announced the new 2020 Defender was officially on sale in America a week ago. Listings on various car sales websites indicate that yes, the Defender is here, and it is for sale. However, a new report from Automotive News dashes some cold water on the party.
Instead of a flood of Defenders marching into the U.S., AN describes the supply as “thin on the ground.” The short supply is reportedly due to low output at the Nitra, Slovakia, plant where the SUV is made. It was shut down for eight weeks due to the coronavirus, and is only now moving back to business as usual. AN reports the plant has capacity to make 150,000 vehicles per year, but it’s also the only plant supplying Defenders to 100 global markets. On top of that, Land Rover also produces the Discovery at this plant.
Land Rover has 188 dealers nationwide, according to AN, and each dealer is expected to get at least one Defender by the end of the month. As of now, Land Rover says that “several hundred” total have been sent to dealers. We did some looking around ourselves and found just over a hundred listed online for sale on various websites like Autotrader and Cars.com. Not only that, but most appear to be listed at MSRP. A “market adjustment” was the first thing on our minds when we saw there was a low supply, but on the surface, it looks like the Defender can be had for the prices on the sticker.
The AN story goes on to detail what Land Rover is doing to combat the slow supply for the time being. Due to a lack of vehicles available for test drives, Land Rover has a roving fleet of demo Defenders that it’s rotating among its dealerships. In other words, you might have to get slightly lucky to find some seat time in a new Defender. The closest Land Rover dealer to Autoblog HQ happens to have three Defenders in stock right now, so if you're in the Detroit area maybe you will get lucky. We imagine that Land Rover is going to prioritize high-volume dealers for the time being, so check out the supply in more bustling areas if you want to get your hands on a Defender as soon as possible. The supply issues are likely to be sorted out in the near future when the plant is fully up to speed.
We've asked Land Rover for some additional information related to the supply, and will update when we receive a response.