Land Rover had cemented themselves as leaders in the off-road market before it became a fashion statement. Nowadays, Land Rover does not only compete with cars in their class, but now consumers are looking at their vehicle range in other markets. Consumers from larger markets such as China have pushed manufacturers to look into ways of gaining a larger market share.
New competitors have been flooding the market coming in from all areas of the vehicle market. Porsche, a sports car manufacturer has been selling 4x4s since 2002 with their Porsche Cayenne. This has amounted to more sales than the rest of their models combined. For calendar year 2012, Porsche sold 77,822 Cayennes and now have introduced a new smaller 4×4 based on the Audi Q5 platform known as the Macan which will take on the Evoque.
The new Range Rover and Sport are now being compared to the ultimate luxury saloons and limousines. Car magazine filmed a feature in late 2012 comparing the Range Rover to the Bentley Mulsanne, Ferrari FF, Aston Martin Rapide and the Rolls Royce Phantom, None of which are considered as vehicles with off-road capabilities but all comparable due to their luxury and power. Land Rover and Range Rover hold their reign in three sectors. The small, mid and luxury 4×4 or SUV sectors.
Small 4×4 sector
In the small 4×4 market, manufacturers such as BMW, Mini, Kia, Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, Skoda, Fiat, Mazda and Dacia have market share and this where Land Rover are lacking. At the LA Motor show, it was revealed that Land Rover are going to be replacing the Freelander with a sub £18k baby Discovery that will sit under the current larger Discovery as part of their leisure tier for the company.
Mid 4×4 sector
Land Rover have been in the mid 4×4 sector with their Defender and Freelander. Since early 2000s, the German manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Volkswagen and Mercedes have tried to muscle their way into the sector with their own mid-sized 4x4s. The BMW X3, Audi Q5, Mercedes GLA, Volkswagen Tiguan and Porsche Macan are major competitors to the new Range Rover Evoque in the luxury mid 4×4 sector. Now with the Defender coming to the end of their production lines, Land Rover will need to build a rugged replacement that will be up to the challenge.
Luxury 4×4 sector
All luxury 4x4s from all manufacturers have been in constant comparison to their executive saloon counterparts. Bentleys, Rolls Royces, Mercedes S-Classes, BMW 7 series and Audi A7s have been competing against the likes of the Range Rover. None of which are capable off-road however consumers ready to purchase a vehicle of this calibre, all types are considered.
The vehicles in the Land Rover range are doing well that retail volumes are up 42% in the first quarter of 2013 over the same period last year. Now with the new Range Rover Sport, consumers will have another dilemma on their hands whether or not to go for a sports car or purchase a Range Rover with the power of a sports car, luxury of an executive saloon and the off-road capability of a Range Rover. Spy-shots and scoops have been seen through out the car magazines about Rolls Royce entering the 4×4 market with their own SUV as are Jaguar and Bentley.
There are many elements that a Land Rover and Range Rover has to offer a consumer which will cause it to be compared to a large amount of models from all types of sectors and this is why it has to strive to not only be the best off-road vehicle but also the best overall car that will not look out-of-place anywhere in the world.
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Jaguar Land Rover record sales beat Mercedes and Audi competitors – The Information Daily.com. 2013. Jaguar Land Rover record sales beat Mercedes and Audi competitors – The Information Daily.com. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theinformationdaily.com/2013/01/07/jaguar-land-rover-record-sales-beat-mercedese-and-audi-competitors. [Accessed 22 November 2013].
Land Rover to develop ‘Leisure’ portfolio | Autocar. 2013. Land Rover to develop ‘Leisure’ portfolio | Autocar. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/motor-shows/land-rover-develop-leisure-portfolio. [Accessed 24 November 2013].