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Land Rover Has Promising Future


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Elite In Memoriam
July 18, 1999
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Annapolis, MD
Year, Model & Trim Level
'97 Limited
Some very interesting information, including an Explorer based replacement for the Discovery?!?!?! Read on and post comments!


12 November 2002
Filed By: Al Rozzi

One of Ford Motor Company's great untapped assets may well lie within the product portfolio encompassing Land Rover brand's sport utility vehicles. The proliferation of sport utility vehicles in the U.S. marketplace, as well as light-trucks in general, means that if managed appropriately, Land Rover may well have vast expansion prospects.

This fact becomes more evident when considering trucks are outselling cars in the first 10 months of this year, yet Land Rover is a very small player in the marketplace, even when compared to truck-specific brands, GMC and Jeep. Furthermore, there are new Land Rover models in the works that promise far more volume than current offerings.

Truck sales in the first 10 months of 2002 have outpaced car sales and there are a host of new models in the works from all the major automakers. Sport wagons, a relatively new niche in the truck segment, will likely draw customers from the sedan market in coming years, fueling light-truck sales-growth. Ford, Chevy and Dodge each sell considerably more trucks than cars. Ford, for example, has sold 1,779,140 trucks this year while selling 1 million fewer cars at 742,464. Dodge sales consist of 72% trucks to 28% cars. Truck-specific brands GMC and Jeep are numbers 7 and 10 respectively in vehicle sales. In fact, GMC outsells Pontiac, Buick and even Saturn.

Land Rover is number 33 among brands sold in the U.S., yet, remarkably, LR sales this year are up 65% over last year's sales. LR has sold 33,531 trucks year-to-date and has a 0.5% share of the truck market. In comparison, GMC has sold 449,724 trucks with 6.3% of the truck market and Jeep has sold 373,099 trucks and has 5.2% of the truck market.

Automotive News, in its August 12, 2002 issue, summarized upcoming LR models through 2006, incorporating a couple of new additions to the lineup. The report included the following:

At the top of the model range is a new Range Rover Sport. Based on the Range Rover platform, it will be a bit smaller and less expensive than Range Rover. The Sport is expected in 2006.
Discovery was updated for 2003, but will be redesigned, perhaps for 2004 and will likely be based upon the Explorer platform. It may have a Jaguar derived V-8, as well.
There is speculation that the Defender model will return to the U.S.
Challenger, using a car-based platform, will be positioned above Freelander. Automotive News reports it could possibly use the all-new Mazda6 platform.
A three-door Freelander arrives in December of this year. An all-new Freelander may debut in 2005, possibly based on the next generation Focus. A new, European, Focus-based sport-wagon, built on the next generation Focus platform, was shown at this year's Paris auto show.
Former PAG boss Wolfgang Reitzle started work on a mini sport-wagon concept before he left the company, however its appearance is doubtful.
Ford Motor Company reported to the media on Friday, November 8, 2002, that Lincoln Mercury would relocate back to Dearborn, Michigan, from PAG headquarters in Irvine, California, in August 2003. With Lincoln out of the luxury division, perhaps the division's concept should be refocused even further, moving away from a strict adherence to luxury pricing for each PAG model. For example, rather than viewing LR as simply a luxury brand, LR could be marketed as a volume brand with luxury models at the upper end of the lineup. Mercedes is heading in this direction as it is considering bringing the A-class mini car to the U.S. as well as the Smart. Even BMW is moving down market with its upcoming 1-series and the new Mini.

With truck sales taking a lion's share of the U.S. marketplace and LR currently a fast growing, yet comparatively small player in the market, there is seemingly exponential growth opportunity for the brand. LR market planners, in my opinion, should refocus the brand away from 'PAG luxury brand' to 'volume brand with luxury offerings'.

Considering current market demographics, it seems that if LR were to offer 2 or 3 volume sport-wagons, priced aggressively although not cheaply, against existing volume makes, there is no reason LR shouldn't be able to place among the top 15 brands in the U.S. Number 15, as the market stands now, is Saturn at 238,817. Recall that Jeep has sold 373,099 vehicles year-to-date. Ford Explorer alone is at 363,719 in just 10 months.

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I don't know much about Land Rover vehicles other than I find them very ugly. I think the best thing Ford could do is to clean up the styling a bit. How good of 4x4's are these things? Most of the people that buy them around here don't look like the off-road types so I think they buy them to be different and as a status symbol.

I have always liked the styling of the Range Rover, thats the big $60,000+ one. As a matter of fact I really looked at one before I got my Lexus, but I was a little weary of the dependability, and with the kind of miles and time I spend in the car, the ride of an SUV for every day was none too appealing. The new one is very sharp looking. The Land Rover you're thinking about is the Discovery, and yes it is rather ugly.

Land Rovers (especially the Defender and Range Rover) are legendary as offroaders, they're known in the industry as the best of the best. Land Rover runs expeditions for its customers to show off their offroad skills.

This is the Range Rover, one very similar to what I looked at back in 98, it was very similar in price to the Lexus then, around $65k, they're more expensive now. Its a good looking truck I think:


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This is the all new Range Rover. I have not driven one but I have heard they offer much of the ride and comfort of the best luxury sedans while still having the offroad prowess Land Rovers are known around the world for:


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i inside on those are sweet. i was in one at a car show a littlw while ago

My dad used to have an old Range Rover. I loved that thing. In Popular Mechanics they had a "spy photo" of a Land Rover made to compete with the Porche Cheyenne fast type SUV, it was lowered and had dual exhaust. Personally I would rather see Land Rover stay more off road instead of moving to more on road like everythin now a day.

I love Land Rovers. I was looking at a '97 disco when I was looking for a car. I love their styling and the fact that they're the only ones bold enough to stick with the sharp edge styling. The only thing I see holding them back is thier high price tag. Start making cheaper ones and they will go nuts. Base model, Cloth seats, rubber floors. Normal audio systems, regular 4 wheel drive, non of the bells and whistles.

Have I mentioned that I really like Land Rovers?

I have driven one of the new Range Rovers in an offroad course in NC and it is an amazing vehicle. The way the make the IFS front end act like a solid axle in lowrange is amazing.

Truely a well thought out automobile. I like.

I just traded in my 2002 Land Rover Freelander SE that i bought new for a 2003 Explorer XLT with 6100 miles on it. My freelander only had 28,000 miles and boy was it a piece of junk. It looks great, runs fine and every little things brakes!!! My sunroof broke 4 times, my side mirrors peeled, my rear door window wouldn't fully rise, rear wiper broke 3 times, alarm malfunctioned,.... and i can go one, honestly!!!
I got a great deal on the Explorer and I am picking it up on Sat. I hope my freelander makes it till Sat. LOL

congrads on getting a 03 XLT X Calderon.

If ya get a chance take some pics of ur new ride I would love to see some pics of it.

Old thread. I got to site in a Freelander for the first time at the Auto Show, honestly, I think they're junk too! I grabbed ahold of the center console and wiggled it and I swear it wasn't secured down. I liked the styling of them, but the overall quality disgusting!

The new Disco is very nice. I like the On/Off Road modes, but I dislike the center stack. Its too vertical and hard to see. Rear seat leg room has impoved 10 fold.

I got to sit inside the newer Range Rover and dang was that thing awsome! Just the size and where you sat made you feel like king ;)

They didn't have the Sport there, but I'm anixious to see it. Suposidly it has the chassis from the Disco, but a condensed body from the Range.

my uncle used to have a land rover. it was hella bad ass i believe his was a 97 or 98 Discovery it was black and it was in mint mint condition. I loved it a lot I miss it so much. I remember him letting me drive it a couple of times. Those were the days but now his lease was finally up so he leased a Mercedes Benz S430 now.

Hey Stephen, Good eye for the news on LR. Question on the table, On my route i pass a Landrover Dealer. Always slammed full of Suv's,, I've heard that Landrovers have terrible problems w/ electric, switches, guages ect, along w/ a problem that a lot of garages will not fix them or even take alook under the hood? Any news on these questions??

Boy this is an old thread LOL

I wasn't much impressed with the Freelander either.

dtl 2k2 sport said:
along w/ a problem that a lot of garages will not fix them or even take alook under the hood? Any news on these questions??

This is true of a lot of high line cars, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, even VW. Not sure about the specific problems.

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