The next-generation Land Rover Defender will be built on a separate platform from the next Discovery, Jaguar Land Rover CEO Thierry Bollore has indicated, signaling a split in strategy for the automaker's large utilitarian SUVs.
Currently, the Defender uses a version of Discovery platform and both models are built at JLR's plant in Nitra, Slovakia.
Strong sales of the Defender, however, have cannibalized those of the Discovery, which was Land Rover's slowest selling model in the first quarter of the year at just 3,691 while against 16,963 Defenders were sold during the same period, JLR figures show.
The next Discovery will switch to JLR's forthcoming so-called "battery-native" Electric Modular Architecture (EMA), Bollore indicated.
"The need for the Defender in terms of platform is different from the one that is going to carry Discovery, Discovery Sport, Velar and Evoque," Bollore told the Financial Times online conference last week.
JLR has previously said that the replacements for the Range Rover Evoque and Discovery Sport would be built on EMA but hasn't officially announced other models on the platform.
JLR said in February it expects 300,000 to 400,000 Land Rovers to be underpinned by the EMA platform, which is scheduled to debut in the company's 2024 financial year (which ends March 31).
JLR hasn't said which model will get to use EMA first, but the next-generation Velar is the most likely candidate.