Tata Motors-owned Jaguar Land Rover’s international roll out of the redesigned Range Rover is almost complete and brand director John Edwards and his team are handing over to the local sales and marketing units.
His verdict? “It has all gone better than we dared believe.”
He added: “The reaction to the car has been phenomenal. It really demonstrates how we have rediscovered our self-belief. Three years ago Land Rover was selling around 150,000 vehicles a year and now we are up to 300,000 and there is potential for more.”
The brand’s factories are operating on three shifts a day while a new factory is on the horizon in China to build both Jaguars and Land Rovers.
The introduction of the Range Rover’s first V6 diesel engine is a growth opportunity making the car more accessible.
Edwards said: “It will help us particularly in Europe with sub 200 g/km emissions although we have no immediate plans to introduce diesels in the US. The market for diesels here is growing but it is not on our radar yet.”
A hybrid Range Rover is scheduled for late next year and that will drive emissions down further but again there are no immediate plans for an introduction in the US as it will be a diesel.
Order books for the new Range Rover, Edwards claimed, are as full as for the Evoque which is the fastest-selling model in the company’s history. Next up is the launch of the 2013 Freelander with two-litre petrol engine replacing the 3.2-litre straight six.
This improves efficiency by 17% while adding power and torque; there is also an interior upgrade.
Edwards said: “Freelander is doing really well for us. There was concern that Evoque would come in and steal sales away from it and, while there has been a small amount of that, the buyers for these two cars are very different.”
The new Defender is due around the middle of the decade.
Edwards said: “We are still working hard to see what the new Defender will look like. We have had some good feedback from the concepts we have shown and we are still very much in the development stage.”