No motoring brand is perfect. No car has been created without a negative opinion. At the moment Land Rover and Range Rover are at the top of their game, making vehicles that are hits with the public in every sector they have produced for. With a vast history spanning over 65 years with ups and downs here are some of the brands strengths and weaknesses.
There was fear that Tata would change the Land Rover brand and it would lose it quintessential British image. However that hasn’t happened, forming part of a multi-national and multi-brand company, Land Rover is doing well financially with a net income £1.215 billion for 2013. Ever since Tata purchased Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford in 2008 and amalgamated the two, the plant has been working at full capacity to keep up with demand for vehicle production from both brands. Land Rover retail volumes have increased by 15% over last year thanks to the introduction of the new Range Rover and the growth of sales worldwide for the Evoque. Land Rover do their best to the stay at the forefront of design and technology and this can only happen if there is investment. £50 million will be invested into the National Automotive Innovation campus with Warwick University to create a large-scale collaborative research centre allowing them to stay at the forefront. The long serving Solihull plant benefited from a £370 million investment for a new body shop parts are produced completely with aluminium including a state of the art aluminium body shop, the largest known one in the world along with upgrades to paint application and trim assemblies and warehousing.
With legislation in place to lower carbon emissions and move to a cleaner environment, Land Rovers and most other big sports utility vehicles are deemed as polluting the environment and killing nature. However Range Rover have recently released a diesel hybrid Range Rover that not only reduces CO2 emissions but it also better on fuel economy and is also a world first. Since the release of the Evoque, Land Rover’s smallest luxury SUV, the company has been reducing its CO2 emissions with each model it produces.
In terms of design, Land Rover have teamed up with members of the fashion world as design consultants helping the brand to be forward thinking in what the public want to see on their future vehicles. The Land Rover image has evolved positively over the years and is on the tip of individuals when looking for a great, fashionable SUV. It is not only being compared to other vehicles in the SUV sector but also being compared to other luxury limousines such as the Rolls Royce and Mercedes S-Class. For this reason, the brand must stay ahead of the competition in relation to technology and sustainability to keep its positive image among the consumers.
‘This all-new generation marries all the merits of a 4×4 with those of the finest luxury limos. It can traverse extreme terrain and ferry your family and all its paraphernalia around in lavish comfort and convenience. Few cars offer this breadth of ability.’ quoted from What Car? when the new Range Rover was voted as the luxury car of the year.
In early 2012, Land Rover sponsored a race team known as ‘Race2Recovery’ consisting of former military personnel who had been injured in the quest to tackle the Dakar rally. The sponsorship also included raising money for Help for Heroes charity. Partnerships with charities and race teams keep up positive media presence for the brand that enforces the positive image in the consumer’s mind.
At the LA motor show in 2013, Land Rover announced a new vision for the company’s products known as the three pillars: Luxury which will house all Range Rover models, Leisure which will house the Discovery models which replaces the Freelander and Dual Purpose whereby the DC100 concept will fall, are the three pillars that will take the brand through 2015. This can be considered as a major strength as the production lines have been made more transparent to the public.
The Defender is to be replaced at the end of 2015. The Defender was the core product of the brand making a 4X4 vehicle, a Land Rover. The model has spanned over 67 years and is now due for a serious update after legislation has hammered down the final nail into the coffin. People use their defenders for completely different reasons; it is one of the few models that is versatile in so many areas of the world. When its predecessor comes along in 2015, it has very big shoes to fit into not only on the front of the farmer and general road user but with all the armies and charities that use their vehicles in treacherous conditions.