Design director says a split of the company's models into three distinct categories is helping Land Rover to focus
Mark Tisshaw
22 November 2013

Land Rover is turning its attentions to the ‘Leisure’ side of its product portfolio from next year, design director Gerry McGovern has revealed.

A replacement for the Freelander is tipped to come first, as that model joins an extended Discovery family. Recent spy shots have shown the replacement in testing.

The firm has split its model range into three categories: Luxury, Leisure and Dual Purpose. Its three most recent new models were all Range Rovers in the Luxury category.

“We will be focusing more from next year on the Leisure pillar,” said McGovern. “You will notice differences between Luxury and Leisure, as they’re clearly targeted at different customers and will build the brand significantly.”

Test mules for the next-generation Freelander, the first model set to be launched into the Leisure pillar, are a regular sight in the Midlands and at the Nürburgring.

The model is set to be rebranded as a Discovery, as Land Rover looks to create a range of models in the Leisure side of the models wearing Discovery badges in the same way every model in the Luxury side of its business wears a Range Rover badge.

“You’re going to see a whole proliferation of new products over the next few years,” said McGovern. “The current three [Defender, Freelander and Discovery] are going to be replaced, but there’s going to be more.”

McGovern, noting the growth potential for Land Rover, said global SUV sales are set to increase by 40 per cent to 22 million units per year by 2020. “The opportunity for us is immense and we want to create products that will be relevant in a rapidly changing world.”

He revealed that the Evoque would get another series of updates in mid-2015 for the 2016 model year, including the removal of the black cladding at the bottom of the car.

McGovern also hinted that the gap between the Range Rover Evoque five-door and the Range Rover Sport could be filled with a new model, while the interiors of all Land Rover models will also continue to see switchgear reduced.

Read more 2013 LA motor show news.

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Comments
11

22 November 2013
The marketing experts will have obviously researched this and presumably know what they're doing, but as a simple punter, my feeling is that the emotional appeal of the Freelander name is significantly more powerful than that of Discovery, and that it's a huge waste to flush 15 years of affectionate recognition down the pan.

22 November 2013
Think it is due to hostility to the brand in the US where it has been, er, panned for crap (sorry) reliability and shite build quality

22 November 2013
[quote=johnfaganwilliams]Think it is due to hostility to the brand in the US where it has been, er, panned for crap (sorry) reliability and shite build quality[/quote] That would certainly be an understandable reason for dropping the name John, but 1) Is Discovery associated with significantly better build-quality than Freelander (I don't know, I'm asking)? And 2) How big a slice of Freelander sales does the US market actually account for? As I understood it, the average American backside was too large to be shoe-horned into the Freelander 1 (which had the worst quality problems) and that the Freelander 2, for larger pant-sizes, made big improvements in build-quality and is actually up there with the top 10 SUVs in the reliability stakes. All things being equal, the name Freelander should appeal nowhere more than in the Land of the Free.

22 November 2013
They probably know what they're doing, and they must be flush with cash, but binning the Freelander name seems like a bit profligate to me. The cost of building that amount of brand recognition since the 90's must be enormous and seems very wasteful, Chinese companies would kill for that kind of market visibility, and JLR appear to be just dropping it for the sake of these arbitrary 'pillars'. It may all work in the end but the word 'Freelander' is starting to be used in the same way as describing a 4dr saloon as a '3 Series type car', a 5dr hatch as a 'Golf type car'. Is it clear marketing sense, or bravado brought on by strong recent sales that they feel their collection of brands can be muddled around with? We'll see.


22 November 2013
[quote=Mac Magog]The marketing experts will have obviously researched this and presumably know what they're doing. [/quote] Mac, I am educated and qualified in marketing, and I have enjoyed a life-long career within the marketing function, inside the automotive manufacturing industry. Your comment is appreciated. However, it is suggested that on this occasion you are being far too generous with your compliments! [quote=Mac Magog] . . . my feeling is that the emotional appeal of the Freelander name is significantly more powerful than that of Discovery, and that it's a huge waste to flush 15 years of affectionate recognition down the pan.[/quote] [quote=bomb] . . . . binning the Freelander name seems like a bit profligate to me. The cost of building that amount of brand recognition since the 90's must be enormous and seems very wasteful, Chinese companies would kill for that kind of market visibility, and JLR appear to be just dropping it for the sake of these arbitrary 'pillars' . . . the word 'Freelander' is starting to be used in the same way as describing a 4dr saloon as a '3 Series type car', a 5dr hatch as a 'Golf type car' . . .[/quote] I agree with both the statements above. Mac sums-it-up very well . . . [quote=Mac Magog] . . . All things being equal, the name Freelander should appeal nowhere more than in the Land of the Free.[/quote]

5 December 2013
[quote=RCT V][quote=Mac Magog]The marketing experts will have obviously researched this and presumably know what they're doing. [/quote] Mac, I am educated and qualified in marketing, and I have enjoyed a life-long career within the marketing function, inside the automotive manufacturing industry. Your comment is appreciated. However, it is suggested that on this occasion you are being far too generous with your compliments! [quote=Mac Magog] . . . my feeling is that the emotional appeal of the Freelander name is significantly more powerful than that of Discovery, and that it's a huge waste to flush 15 years of affectionate recognition down the pan.[/quote] [quote=bomb] . . . . binning the Freelander name seems like a bit profligate to me. The cost of building that amount of brand recognition since the 90's must be enormous and seems very wasteful, Chinese companies would kill for that kind of market visibility, and JLR appear to be just dropping it for the sake of these arbitrary 'pillars' . . . the word 'Freelander' is starting to be used in the same way as describing a 4dr saloon as a '3 Series type car', a 5dr hatch as a 'Golf type car' . . .[/quote] I agree with both the statements above. Mac sums-it-up very well . . . [quote=Mac Magog] . . . All things being equal, the name Freelander should appeal nowhere more than in the Land of the Free.[/quote][/quote] Wholly agree, there is enough badge kudos to sustain it as Freelander and Discovery. I suspect many will still refer to them as Freelander and Disco. However on its own, Discovery is not as strong as Land Rover. Does this mean 'Work' will be called Defender?

22 November 2013
Maybe they should add Land Rover badged versions of the Tata Sumo, Safari and Xenon to the Dual Purpose category

22 November 2013
I have owned two Freelander 2’s and when I had the first one in 2008 I was careful to add that it was a Freelander 2, due to the poor reputation of the original. The Freelander 2 has changed the reputation and standing of the vehicle due to its good record of reliability and customer satisfaction. However, If Land Rover can produce a vehicle that looks as good as the image shown and a vehicle as well developed as the new RR Sport, then I do not think too many potential purchasers will really be bothered if it is called Freelander or Discovery.

22 November 2013
JLR know what they are doing and if you cant see it then you really need to look hard, they are getting back to basics, like in told days, you had the Fiesta, a good small car, then teh Focus, Sierra and Granada (I use these as an example, not as a definitive comparison) The defender range will be the workhorse range of vehicles, followed by the discovery range, small and large vehicles, in teh same vein as the focus 3 door, 5 door, estate and so on, the Granny was always the luxury end like the Range Rover group of cars. So, JLR are doing nothing unusual, consolidating models together, to give distinct ranges of cars, rather than have One Freelander 3 and one Discovery 5, there will be a series of cars to build upon the good reputation the Discovery has gained over the last five years. And as for reliability, I have just popped over to the USA J.D. Power and had a good poke about, and the full Land/Range Rover models rate equal or better than supposed quality brands like BMW and Mercedes, now forgive me, but its there in black and white, so please stop harping on about teh poor reliability because these cars are no worse than supposed better cars. People should applaud JLR, for the amount of money they are pumping into the local areas, for the jobs they continue to give, for building more units each year for years, for producing great world class cars, but no, all you lot can do is bicker and slag off and berate, such a sad group of people.

22 November 2013
[quote=jonboy4969] all you lot can do is bicker and slag off and berate, such a sad group of people. [/quote] Where is the slagging off in this thread then jon? It seems to be posts concerned about the direction JLR is taking given their past success and the strong foothold they have in the marketplace. You should read a little closer before you do your own slagging off. Sad indeed.


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