New House of Brands model stumped by product overlap
Defender has taken over as most popular Landie
Land Rover might be a victim of its own success. The hot-selling Defender has put a wet blanket on the Discovery lines, and that has the company scrambling to find the role of the marque going forward.
“There is no hiding: Discovery is not performing to the same level as the other two,” JLR CEO Adrian Mardell told Autocar. Now the company has a team working on a definition for the off-roader that will make it fit in the company’s new lineup.
A mission for the Discovery and Discovery Sport models is even more important for Land Rover than it would have been just a couple of years ago. That’s because as part of Jaguar Land Rover becoming JLR, the company said that the focus would be on Range Rover, Defender, and Discovery as brands of their own instead of the focus being on the overall Land Rover company.
The Land Rover Discovery was first introduced in 1989 to fit between the Defender and Range Rover. It was more like the Range Rover in function and luxury, but was less expensive. The current is the model’s fifth generation.
Automotive News Europe reports that the Discovery, which was for many years the brand’s best-seller, sold just 4,354 units globally in the most recent quarter. The smaller Discovery Sport was Land Rover’s second-slowest selling at 7,022. The Land Rover Defender sold 27,616 units in the same period.
“We need to create a design and business model that is going to be successful,” Mardell said. “We have not given the team the time to do that yet, because we were focusing on the Defender. Now we have moved people into the Discovery house.”