Indian company Tata Motors bought luxury brands Jaguar and Land Rover last year and has since seen sales increase by 60 per cent in February 2010 alone.
Now the company is funding the design of the new Land Rover Defender, although Land Rover is expected to drop the Defender name for the new vehicle.
The design team for the new model, labelled ‘Project Icon’, hopes to launch the new model in 2014 as a replacement for the 62-year old Defender line-up.
The Defender has sold over a million vehicles since its launch in 1948, and was the only Land Ranger model until the introduction of the Range Rover in 1970.
A Land Rover spokesperson said of the new vehicle: “This is just the start of a four-year development project and we have a number of things to do before we can comment on what the new vehicle will be."
Land Rover will now take part in extensive customer prior to the design stage.