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


The Land Rover Defender is dead. The Mercedes-Benz G-Class is not, yet. We discuss why that is

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

By contrast, Mercedes wised up in the early 1990s to transforming the G-Class from a workhorse akin to the Defender to a luxury off-roader that was capable on all terrains but also appealed to decadent buyers around the world.

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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. 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. 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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Source:: Autocar