Land Rover dealers will be faced with a new challenge when they start delivering the rugged new Defender off-road vehicle this spring: Having enough accessories on hand to outfit the SUV the way customers want it at purchase and take delivery without waiting.
That might not be easy.
Land Rover has geared up for the return of the Defender by creating more than 180 accessories, the largest number for any single vehicle in Land Rover history.
They include more than a dozen styles and sizes of wheels, multiple roof racks, a tent that attaches to the rear of the vehicle, bike carriers and even a 1.7-gallon pressure washer.
Buyers also will be able to choose from four themed option packages — Explorer, Adventure, Country and Urban — and from among the S, SE and HSE models.
Some Land Rover stores are clearing shelf space and planning to stock up so that salespeople can add whatever accessories the customer wants to the purchase order and then roll the cost into the price of the vehicle.
"If you look at what Jeep has done with accessories, people really like to put their own stamp on their own car," said Andy Vine, chairman of the Jaguar Land Rover U.S. Retailer Council. "The amount of accessories we will sell will be off the charts compared with what we've done in the past."
Vine said Land Rover dealers opened their order books for the new Defender shortly after it was revealed last fall at the Frankfurt auto show and have seen many of the orders include accessories.
The four packages will be installed at ports, then dealers will carry the accessories that can be added during the sale. The base model Defender 110 — with no accessories or options packs — starts at $50,925, including shipping. When fully maxed out, the vehicle can cost more than $80,000.
The Defender has been absent from Land Rover's North American lineup since 1997. The 2020 Defender is built in an all new-plant in Nitra, Slovakia. Deliveries are expected to begin this spring.