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Opinion: why the Mercedes G-Class outlived the Land Rover Defender

Autocar logo Autocar 09/11/2017 Rachel Burgess

Opinion: why the Mercedes G-Class outlived the Land Rover Defender: <span style="font-size:13px;">Mercedes-Benz G-Class</span>

Mercedes-Benz G-Class
© Autocar

The Defender might hold a fond place in many a heart but it wasn’t a huge profit maker for Land Rover. 

Although the Defender’s sales exceeded the G-Class’s when it ended production in January 2016, the average Defender sold for less than half the price of the average G-Class, so the Merc’s profit margins were more business friendly.

Related: The Last Land Rover Defender (Sky News)

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The Defender also faced increasingly stringent safety and emissions rules that made continuing its production a challenge. 

For all those reasons, the G-Class has managed to carry on where the Defender didn’t.

Opinion: why the Mercedes G-Class outlived the Land Rover Defender: <span style="font-size:13px;">Land Rover Defender</span> © Autocar Land Rover Defender Just last month, we saw a G-Class run-out special, ensuring the current iteration of the off-roader milks everything it can before the new one arrives. 

There’s a lot of potential for the next Defender, due in 2019, but key to its future success is its ability to be profitable in the way that the G-Class has. Until then, Germany reigns supreme. 

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Related: History of the Land Rover Defender, in pictures (Motoring Research)

Land Rover Defender: since 1948: The Land Rover Defender is set to end production later this year. Join us as we trace its roots right back to 1948. In pictures: history of the Land Rover Defender
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