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Land Rover product rollout ramps up
Velar just the tip of the new product iceberg for Land Rover
10 Mar 2017
By TIM NICHOLSON in GENEVA
THE freshly revealed Range Rover Velar is just the tip of the iceberg for Land Rover’s new model onslaught, with the three different family of models set to expand in the coming years.
Land Rover uncovered its latest model – the Ranger Rover Velar mid-size SUV that shares its underpinnings with the Jaguar F-Pace – at this week’s Geneva motor show, that is set to take on the Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC.
The Indian-owned British brand has previously announced its strategy that includes three distinct families of brands under the overarching Land Rover banner – the Discovery, Range Rover and Defender brands.
Speaking to GoAuto at the Geneva show, Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern would not rule out entering more market segments in which it does not yet compete.
“Well we are always looking for opportunities to increase the breadth of our brand in terms of our universal appeal and the stretch of the brand,” he said on the Land Rover stand. “I think Land Rover has already proven that it has the ability to go into segments it hasn’t been in before.
“Part of our job is to not just replace our existing models but to look at opportunities to build, and that is what we are doing. That (Velar) was an example, Evoque, Discovery Sport, Evoque Convertible are examples, so we will continue to explore.”
Left: Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern
While it is unclear what market segments were next, the company is yet to commence the rollout of any of the new Defender models, but this is likely to kick off later this decade.
There are also gaps in the Discovery family, which for now includes the mid-size Discovery Sport and the new-generation Disco that lands in Australia this year.
When asked if there were SUV segments that Land Rover would not compete in, such as the sub-Evoque market, Mr McGovern said there was still more to come from all three brands.
“We have so far seen most of the action on Range Rover. Some action on Discovery with two vehicles. There’s still a lot more to go there because they aren’t really a family yet. We haven’t even gone to Defender yet. We are never going to do ordinary vehicles, would be my answer to that.
“In terms of new space – things that haven’t even been thought about yet – I think there are lots of opportunities. Because we have got those three families that are quite differentiated because they represent different vales – Range Rover refinement and sophistication, Discovery – all about versatility and Defender durability. That gives you three specific areas to focus on and target certain customer groups.”
Mr McGovern told GoAuto at the Frankfurt show in 2015 that a number of sizes and segments were being considered and that he did not rule out a sub-compact SUV.
In terms of the Velar, Mr McGovern would not be drawn on whether it would become the SUV specialist’s top-seller globally.
“I am not sure about that. I think it surprised a lot of people. Clearly it has got the capability to. The Evoque sells 130,000 a year. About 120,000 Discover Sports so we will see.”
As reported, the Velar will roll into Australian dealerships in December this year priced from $70,300 plus on-road costs for the base diesel and will top out at $167,600 for the flagship variant.
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