Land Rover is expected to finally show off the new Defender sometime this year as part of the brand's 70th anniversary celebration. But there is already talk about adding more variants, one of those being a pickup.
Autocar reports that Land Rover will launch this model in 2020 to go up against the likes of the Mercedes-Benz X-Class, Toyota HiLux, and others. Unlike most trucks that offer a range of cab styles, the Defender pickup will only be offered as a regular cab. This is due to the Defender's unibody structure as it is easier to adapt a regular cab layout then a crew cab. Engines are expected to be 2.0L gas and diesel engines from Jaguar Land Rover's Ingenium family.
Land Rover is expected to offer a wide range of specifications from a spartan work truck to a very luxurious to take on the X-Class. The model is expected to be sold in Europe, Africa, South America, and the U.S. The last one is interesting as the majority of pickups sold in the U.S. tend to be extended or crew cabs, which could hurt the Defender pickup if it arrives.
Volvo is finishing up an immense product rollout that began with the XC90 only a few years ago. So what's next on the Swedish automaker's to-do list? As we reported last July, Volvo is gearing up for an electrification offensive beginning in 2019 with five new electric vehicles and a number of mild-hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. Because of this, the automaker isn't planning to launch like a convertible or a rumored SUV coupe.
“It would be nice to have a convertible or a coupe. It’s the cream on the cake but you don’t need it to survive,” said Lex Kerssemakers, Volvo's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) boss.
“We cover 98% of the market with our current portfolio. Our electrification goals show we are taking it very seriously and we are rapidly expanding our electrified powertrains.”
Autocar reports that the new XC40 crossover will be the first Volvo model to get an all-electric powertrain.
Lincoln only established itself in China back in 2015, but it is proving to be quite successful. Last year, Lincoln sold 54,124 models in the country. But the brand has big ambitions and believes it could sell more models in the world's largest auto market if they started building models there.
According to Reuters, Lincoln is planning on building up five new vehicles in China by 2022. Officially, Ford has announced a new crossover for the Chinese market in 2019. But sources tell the news service that the automaker is planning on building the upcoming Aviator in China by late 2019 or early 2020. This will be followed by the successors to the MKC and MKZ, and the Nautilus 2021. Wrapping up Lincoln's China production plans is a small, coupe-like crossover expected in 2022.
“Our localization plans to support the China market are on track and will serve to further drive Lincoln’s growth in China. Beyond that, it would be premature to discuss our future product and production plans or timing,” said Lincoln spokeswoman Angie Kozleski when reached for comment.
Moving production to China would help Lincoln immensely. Currently, Ford imports Lincoln models from the U.S. to China. This means they get hit with a 25 percent tariff and aren't able to compete with the likes of Cadillac and the Germans. Even if China does reduce the tariff on imported vehicles - something Chinese President Xi Jinping promised earlier this week, it might not make a big enough difference for Lincoln to close the gap.
“As long as Lincolns are not manufactured in China, the brand’s sales will no doubt suffer continuously,” said Zhu Kongyuan, Secretary General of the China Auto Dealers Chamber of Commerce.
Not helping matters is the war of words between the U.S. and China, and the possibility of a trade war on the horizon.