PH BLOG: RANGE ROVER ONSLAUGHT
So, the Range Rover launched last night to much glitz and glamour but PH was more into the old ones
tech story I published, via my phone, literally the second the car appeared on stage. Just about meeting the terms of the embargo. Yes, I can be that OCD. Just as I did so there was a collective 'ooooh!' from the audience as the Range Rover, gliding across a pool of water, suddenly plunged into unseen depths and demonstrated that 900mm wading depth. Pretty cool!
How Spen King would regard the new car's target audience, many of whom were paraded before us having been up against the wall and shot (...by the paparazzi) got me wondering. As mentioned in my farewell to the L322 he saw the original Range Rover's buyers as "senior officers in the army, head guys on building sites, well-off farmers and that sort of person." Not, perhaps, the collection of oddly hued, strangely dressed and (occasionally) bizarrely proportioned folk collectively referred to as 'celebs' and apparently now key Range Rover buyers. While many turned left to witness the freak show at the VIP entrance I and a few others turned right to get a better look at the classic Rangies many had been chauffeured in.
Chatting with senior Land Rover marketing VP Finbar McFall I asked him how much 'headroom' in the package there is, given that with Bentley arriving on the SUV scene before long and the seemingly money no object mindset of some markets. It's an interesting one because, while in 'mature' markets a steady creep towards six figures might be acceptable it's entirely possible there are others - with the ground softened up by Bentley - willing to pay double that for a luxury SUV. How do you engineer that into the package? Customisation seems to be the answer, options to personalise and improve on the fixtures and fittings where that cash can be squeezed out of those willing to pay for it. It's an interesting comparison to the original of course, whose basic and initially utilitarian design evolved to accommodate buyers willing and able to spend much, much more. Will we see a quarter of a million quid Range Rover off this platform? Don't bet against it in some circles.
Yeah, I know we're fed this stuff to do some recycling of our own. But one of the interesting things McFall shared was that the off-road capability often ignored by the first, second or even third owners becomes much more important to those further down the line and older Range Rovers are often the ones that really use all that ability. Stands to reason - if you spent £10K on your Rangie you're probably more relaxed about how you use it than if you paid 10 times that. And the responses from L322-owning PHers in the thread that followed that story seem to back that up, RRG's trip to Capetown and matfinch and his annual Scottish mud-plugging tours just two examples.