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East Coast Defender Announces Opening Of West Coast Design Center

The new center is one of the first of its kind in the SUV industry to offer a turn-key custom design experience that enables clients to create a true, one-off Defender.


East Coast Defender (ECD) announced that its new West Coast Design Studio in Malibu, California, will open on Monday, Oct., 2. The new center is one of the first of its kind in the SUV industry to offer a turn-key custom design experience that enables clients to create a true, one-off Defender. It will be managed by Karissa Kreager, client liaison manager for East Coast Defender. All East Coast Defender SUVs designed at the West Coast location will be built at The Rover Dome in Kissimmee, Florida.

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Kreager has been with East Coast Defender since 2017. She brings a wealth of experience in luxury retail sales, shopping and styling and has represented global fashion and designer brands. As the client liaison manager, Kreager will be responsible for ensuring her guests experience a premium buying experience. She will provide a detailed and comprehensive buying journey that ensures her clients’ custom Defenders are built to their exact specs. She will also be a point of contact for her clients during the build process.

“Our West Coast Design Studio is breaking new ground in the custom SUV market,” said Scott Wallace, East Coast Defender co-owner. “At most, luxury and exotic car manufacturers offer their customers a few performance modifications or body color and accessory options. However, they’re confined by a short list of options controlled by OEM and their suppliers. Contrary to that model, our Design Studio gives our clients full control of the Defender build. From the chassis and powertrain to the technology, and color of their upholstery stitching, we don’t restrict our clients to our options or opinions, we let them bring their ideas to us.”


East Coast Defender’s Design Studio experience begins with the client selecting either a Defender 90, 110 or 130 chassis. During the configuration phase of the design process, the client will be presented with various paint, leather and string samples, as well as optional technology, steering wheels, gauges, winches, wheels, tires and more. The Design Studio will include countless samples that the client can select, or customize based on their unique profile. Powertrain and exterior options, including engine options, seating configurations, bumpers and roll cages, can be reviewed in the East Coast Defender design manual.

“We’ve gone beyond a standard buying process, to developing a true, collaborative SUV build experience,” said Tom Humble, East Coast Defender co-owner. “During our build process, no nut or bolt is left untouched. There is no part of the vehicle that gets left as it was before. We’re taking that same level of detail and attention to quality to our design process. Every client who passes through our Design Studio will have a buying journey that is unlike anything they’ve experienced before in the automotive industry.”


The West Coast Design Studio will be similar to the new one that is currently open at ECD’s Kissimmee location. A finished East Coast Defender, which will be regularly rotated with different configurations, will be on display at the studio to give clients the opportunity to experience the craftsmanship of a finished vehicle. Clients in the area can choose to take possession of their custom East Coast Defender at the West Coast Design Studio, to the Rover Dome, or have it delivered directly to their home.

“Our Design Studio experience is an immersive, collaborative process,” said Elliot Humble, East Coast Defender co-owner. “Due to the high level of customization we offer, it will be several months after finalizing the configuration before a client takes possession of their hand-crafted vehicle. The client is fully engaged every step of the way, with regular photos, phone calls and updates detailing their build process via the personalized web portal and our concierge service. We also provide a 1/10th scale version of their Defender, which is painted in our booth to match the color of their vehicle, and includes many of the personalized accessories they selected along with a few other personalized surprises along the way. There really is no other vehicle purchase program that delivers a luxury experience the way East Coast Defender can.”


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