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JLR has ‘high expectations’ for new Velar

Choice as: Range Rover Velar customers face a tough decision, with 40 permanent variants initially on offer thanks to a wide range of powertrains and model grades.

Up to 3000 annual sales tagged for new Range Rover Velar due on sale next month

Land Rover logo14 Aug 2017

By DANIEL DeGASPERI

JAGUAR Land Rover (JLR) Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner has “high expectations” for the all-new Range Rover Velar, with the upper-medium luxury SUV tipped to sell in similar annual numbers to its smaller Evoque and larger Range Rover Sport siblings.

Due in showrooms next month, the Velar range – comprising one petrol and two diesel iterations of JLR’s 2.0-litre Ingenium turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and a 3.0-litre supercharged petrol or turbo-diesel V6 priced between $70,950 and $168,250 plus on-road costs – could add 3000 annual sales without taking much from other models, according to Mr Wiesner.

“There’s a pretty decent gap between the Evoque and the Range Rover Sport, so we think we’ve certainly nailed this in regards to filling it with the right one,” Mr Wiesner told GoAuto at the local reveal of the Velar in Sydney last week.

“I mean last year, if you look at the full year, we average around 2700 Evoques per year, we do around 3000 Range Rover Sports per year, so both contribute massively. So I think Velar sits in and around those numbers somewhere, which from a pure incremental (growth) perspective is significant.

“We have pretty high expectations Velar will certainly add incremental volume.

In total numbers, absolutely we will grow.”

That said, Mr Wiesner did not rule out buyers of the Evoque, which costs between $52,515 and $85,343, and the Range Rover Sport, which ranges from $90,900 to $196,800, moving into the Velar given that it falls inside both price brackets.

“We’re going to watch with great interest, up and down from Evoque and Range Rover Sport,” he said.

“Probably the current thinking is potentially as current Evoque owners look for something even more (highly) designed, a bit bigger, a bit more space, we think it’s probably more of a trend (to Velar) that way.

“However, there will also be people who are in Sport or a Range Rover who just don’t need that size anymore.

“You know we’ll basically see how it settles in. We don’t want people leaving the brands. Having movement within those brands like Land Rover and Jaguar is fine, where it’s up and down. The last thing you want (a buyer) to do is have to leave to find that gap that we may have.”

Mr Wiesner said he believed that Evoque and Range Rover Sport sales volume would not be hugely affected overall given the continued growth the SUV segment and the Velar’s seemingly sizeable buyer conquest potential.

“From an incremental conquest perspective, I think it’s one of the best things we’ve done for a long time,” he said.

“I think when you look at various competitors around who are in and around that space, both above in size and maybe even below in size, when you look at it from a design point of view, the attraction that Velar will have for those in and around that space, I think will be amazing,” he said.

“There’s nothing else out there at the moment that really gives, from a design statement perspective, that same offer.”

Last year Land Rover sold 13,597 vehicles in Australia for an increase of 14.4 per cent over 2015, with Discovery Sport (4432) leading the charge ahead of the Range Rover Sport (3099), Evoque (2732), Discovery (2470, which was heavily in runout), Range Rover (454) and Defender (410).

To the end of July this year, Land Rover has fallen 13.2 per cent due to the shortfall in supply with the changeover to the new-generation Discovery launched earlier this month.

The Evoque is up 14.6 per cent and Discovery Sport has gained 9.5 per cent, while the Range Rover Sport is down 1.6 per cent. Discovery is down 67.2 per cent for the year to date.

Land Rover will now need the Discovery to at least match the monthly sales rate of the previous model, and for the Velar to sell at around 250 per month in the final quarter of the year, to get close to matching last year’s overall result.

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