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Land Rover Defender production to end on Friday

The Queen pictured driving a Land Rover Defender. Credit: PA

The last Land Rover Defender, one of Britain's longest-living road vehicles and a favourite with the Queen, will be produced on Friday.

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) at Solihull in the West Midlands is to end production of the popular 4x4, which featured in James Bond movie Skyfall.

The Defender represents the continuation of the very first Land Rover which came on to the scene in April 1948 and was modelled on war-time jeeps.

Land Rover holds a royal warrant, as supplier to the royal household. The royal relationship with Land Rover goes back to 1948 when King George VI viewed the original Land Rover.

The Queen, who has been pictured at the wheel of Land Rovers, took delivery of her first one shortly after coming to the throne in 1952.

A small event will be held for workers at the Solihull plant on Friday to mark the end of Defender production.

A Land Rover Defender travels on a beach in Namibia. Credit: PA

Jim Holder, editorial director of magazines Autocar and What Car?, said Defenders "appeal to every level of society".

He said: "It's got that ubiquity where it can be at home in Chelsea but doesn't look out of place painted white in the middle of a war zone.

"It claims to do everything and to a degree it can do everything."

JLR is working on a replacement vehicle for the Defender, but Mr Holder claimed it will be a "massive challenge" to match the status of the original.

"It's a charming vehicle. It's a go-anywhere, rugged symbol of solid construction," he said.

"But the truth is the Defender today doesn't sell in high enough numbers. The challenge is how to broaden its appeal without ruining the key aspects that make it so appealing."

A small event will be held for workers at the Solihull plant on Friday. Credit: Rudolf Stricker/Wikimedia Commons