We've caught up with Gerry McGovern who heads up the design team responsible for the new Range Rover.
Why haven’t you previewed the Velar with a public showing of a concept car?
“Since the success of the Evoque, we have far greater control of our destiny. We’ve proved our masterplan can work and we’re in a hurry to prove that point.”
When did you start work on the Velar?
“The concept was created three years ago and has changed very little since. When a car is right, you know it, and you just have to wait for the right time.”
Why is now the right time?
“We are on a roll and this is the next step in our journey of transformation. We’re making a transition from a specialist brand to a bigger brand, but that doesn’t mean we’ll ever be generalist. Whatever we do must have great design and engineering [at its core]. Our vehicles must be compelling. Velar has a glamour, modernity and elegance that is unrivalled.”
Who will buy the Velar?
“It’s a new type of Range Rover for a new type of customer. The Evoque put us into a white space that was new for us and our rivals. The Velar is the same — perhaps not in terms of size and price, but it is unique in other ways. We are stretching our brand.”
The Velar is another ‘lifestyle’-focused launch. Why haven’t you shown a new Defender yet?
“You can’t run an industrial powerhouse for the traditionalist. We need to establish a viable industrial and financial footprint before we can create a viable Defender for the future. Once we’re making money, we can afford to invest in a whole new Defender family. We don’t have to be supported by heritage. Our job should always be about looking forward and being relevant in a changing world.”