Land Rover has embarked on a massive new model blitz that could more than double its annual sales by 2020. It is almost certainly the biggest investment that the UK car industry has ever seen. Land Rover’s future model line-up will fully cover the three main areas of the booming global SUV market — luxury, leisure and utility.
According to Land Rover’s design director Gerry McGovern, the brand is set to expand all three of its model families. The plans include additional models for the Range Rover line-up, a new Defender family and a radical expansion of the Freelander range that will create four new ‘leisure’ SUVs during the next seven years.
Land Rover sources refuse to estimate the potential size of the car-maker once the seven-year plan has been introduced. However, market data suggests the global SUV market will reach 22 million units by 2020. If, by radically expanding its line-up, Land Rover captured around three per cent of that market, it would be close to producing 600,000 vehicles annually.
According to what McGovern describes as a “holistic approach” to its future range, Land Rover plans to extend the Range Rover line-up to six models, including an ‘Evoque XL’, which slots into the hole that currently exists between the Evoque and the new Range Rover Sport and a convertible Evoque. A baby three-door Range Rover just 4m long is also being considered.
The new Land-Rover-badged ‘leisure’ line-up will have at least five new models, kicking off with an entry-level Freelander similar in size to today’s Evoque. The Freelander itself will be reinvented in five-seat and seven-seat forms. The range will be topped by a new Discovery, which could switch to an aluminium platform, and be offered as a flagship to rival the successful BMW X5.