GOLDING'S TAKE: Land Rover ready to stoke Evoque fires
Body-in-white capacity at the Tata Motors-owned Halewood Land Rover factory has been increased in a hurry and a third shift has been arranged to allow round-the-clock production of the new Evoque if need be.
Land Rover dealers are each to get three demonstrators as the automaker tries to ride the tidal wave of interest that has flooded into showrooms since the UK launch on 8 September.
It is the first completely new Land Rover product since the Range Rover Sport in 2005.
Two-wheel drive versions are appealing to Mini and Audi owners which indicates the extent to which Evoque is seen as a cool fashion statement.
Unexpectedly, the Evoque has also become a second car for Range Rover households.
They are now being seen internally as different cars for different people whose age profiles overlap.
There is also incremental demand from the cleverly differentiated three-door 'coupe' which has the same roof panel as the five-door but with a headroom reduction of just 30mm to create the 'coupe' look.
David Mitchell, Land Rover’s chief engineer, said the panoramic glass roof option looks like accounting for 75% of orders the way demand is trending at the moment. The original assumption was 40%.
Early orders are suggesting that starting purchase prices are going to be over GBP38,000 even though it is possible to acquire the car for GBP30,000. The only worry that Land Rover has is that Evoque could leach sales from the GBP50,000 Range Rover which is why Evoque advertising is all about style and less about the off-road competence which is the big car’s selling point.
The principal Range Rover features not on the smaller car are low and high range transmission and air suspension.