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Land Rover is embarking on a major new model and investment blitz that could see production more than double to 600 000 vehicles by 2020.
It has a seven-year plan that includes a line-up of 16 different Land Rover variations including six luxury Range Rovers, five Discovery and Freelander models, and five iterations of the utilitarian Defenders.
Ambitious Land Rover is aiming to capture around 3 percent of the global sports utility market, which experts predict will reach 22-million by 2020.
The investment is a key part of £10-billion (R138bn) investment planned by Jaguar Land Rover over the next five years. It means big expansion at the firm’s Solihull plant which builds the Range Rover, Discovery and Defender models, and particularly at its Halewood factory on Merseyside which builds the Range Rover Evoque and Freelander models.
Expansion is also planned in China and India.
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The firm inadvertently leaked the extent of its proposed 16-car line up when its design director Gerry McGovern flashed up a slide showing silhouettes of the proposed vehicles during a briefing on its new Range Rover which goes on sale in the New Year.
New variants of the next generation of five and seven-seat Defenders include a ‘crew cab’ pick-up truck. A soft-top version of the Evoque ‘baby’ Range Rover is in the pipeline, as well as an even smaller Evoque.
A new flagship luxury Discovery is also touted, as well as a ‘baby’ Freelander.
Details are revealed in the latest edition of the respected Autocar magazine. Autocar’s associate editor Hilton Holloway, who has been briefed by Land Rover sources, says: “Land Rover is on a roll. It is almost certainly the biggest investment that the UK car industry has ever seen.
“The new production line at Solihull could produce 150 000 models per year at full stretch.
“With the new Range Rover shifting just over 40 000 units and the Sport about 60 000, it leaves room for a range-topping aluminium Land Rover in a luxury segment that should be able to steal 50 000 of the 682 000 global sales.”
Land Rover sold nearly 50 000 vehicles in China in the first eight months of the year and its network of 96 Chinese dealerships is set to grow by a further 47.
Holloway added: “Perhaps the biggest area where Land Rover can make headway is in the mid-market ‘leisure sector’ where 6-million annual sales are up for grabs.
“As Land Rover’s future line-up shows, it needs to build a family of cars in the sector where the current Freelander and Discovery compete.” -Daily Mail