It’s rare for a car maker to reverse launch plans for a model already confirmed for production and put on sale, but Land Rover did just that last week in axing the Range Rover SV Coupé.
This week, it has followed that up by confirming to Autocar that the Discovery SVX concept car would not now make production as had originally been planned. While a loss of face on both of these is inevitable, both decisions are actually confident and positive.
A two-door Range Rover limited to 999 units (if Land Rover could find the buyers…) and priced at £240,000 might bring some marginal short-term financial gain but, with budgets squeezed and Jaguar Land Rover facing serious challenges, this isn’t what it needs for the fight in which it is now engaged.
The car was a distraction, its unique body (only the bonnet and part of the tailgate were shared with the standard Range Rover) taking engineering and company resources away from Land Rover when real innovation and invention are needed most.
That’s not only around models like the upcoming Defender but also electric cars, an area in which Land Rover, unlike its Jaguar sibling, has yet to show its hand. The decision to axe the Discovery SVX, which was not seen as a production car even if it was confirmed, was taken for slightly different reasons but with the same sentiments behind them.