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Room for both Velar and F-Pace in JLR line-up

Sibling rivalry: Despite sharing the same platform and similar dimensions, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Australia says there is room in the premium mid-size SUV market for both the Jaguar F-Pace (left) and just-launched Range Rover Velar (below).

Jaguar and Range Rover to share luxury mid-size SUV space with F-Pace and Velar

Land Rover logo21 Sep 2017

By TUNG NGUYEN

LAND Rover’s new Range Rover Velar will this week be launched into the competitive premium mid-size SUV segment that is dominated by the big Germans, but it will also have to compete with its sister brand’s Jaguar F-Pace for attention.

Speaking to GoAuto at the national media launch of the Velar, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner conceded that the Velar would likely steal some sales away from the F-Pace, and vice versa, but there would be room for both.

“I think Velar and F-Pace are in that pretty robust space in that SUV segment, sitting between where we have Evoque and E-Pace, when it comes, and you’ve got Range Rover Sport sitting up there, so there’s quite a space in the middle,” he said.

“So that’s fine and quite frankly, I would rather we have movement between Jaguar and Land Rover or Land Rover and Jaguar than have people wandering off because we didn’t have something to offer.

“If we can keep them in both brands, no problem.”

Both the Velar and F-Pace are built on the same platform with identical wheelbase measurements of 2874mm, while the Range Rover is both 72mm longer and 209mm wider at 4803mm and 2145mm respectively.

However, the new Range Rover has been tuned for a more comfortable and refined ride with all-wheel drive across the board, while its Jaguar counterpart features sportier dynamics and is available in a rear-wheel drive.

While both models kick off from around the same price – $73,252 before on-roads for the F-Pace and $70,662 for the Velar – the Jaguar tops out at $104,827, while a fully loaded flagship Range Rover Velar stretches out to $135,762, excluding special-edition variants.

JLR Australia director of marketing Kevin Nicholls said the concern about potential cannibalisation was the “question the whole of Jaguar Land Rover has asked themselves since this car (Velar) was first mooted”, but that both cars have two distinctly different target audiences.

“Clearly the F-Pace is a much more on-road focused vehicle,” he said. “I mean it will go remarkably well off-road and quite a few of its technologies have come from Land Rover, but it’s not all about off-road.

“If you were doing a lot of that stuff (off-roading), you’d probably be buying a Land Rover or Range Rover and when you drive a car dynamically, Jaguar’s set-up is much more of a sporty drive.

“I think you’ll find those that want that sporty, on-road performance SUV will still gravitate towards F-Pace, those that want a bit more luxury, comfort, refinement, not quite as sharp will go towards Velar.”

Mr Nicholls identified the Velar buying demographic as younger couples who place an importance on styling but need more space than is offered in the small-size Range Rover Evoque and said the new mid-size crossover would add to overall sales.

“You will get some people who will look at both, but some people who will only look at one and it will add incremental volume,” he said.

“You can cannibalise between Jaguar and Land Rover, sales are sales.

“At the end of the day, as long as they are buying a Land Rover or Range Rover or a Jaguar.”

Land Rover is expected to sell up to 3000 Velars annually, or about 250 a month, which would push the brand’s overall sales into growth.

For the first eight months of the year, Land Rover has sold 8478 units, an 11.9 per cent drop over the 9627 units moved over the same period last year.

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