United Arab Emirates: Phil Popham, Global Managing Director, of Land Rover has been to the UAE to reiterate Land Rover's commitment to the market and further strengthen its ties with local importer, Al Tayer Motors Dubai and Premier Motors Abu Dhabi. His visit underlined importance of the UAE and wider Middle East market to Land Rover, as both continue to demonstrate significant growth potential despite the slowdown in the global automotive industry. With its refreshed 2010 line-up comprising the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and the new Land Rover LR4, Land Rover is anticipating a successful year ahead. Popham was joined by Bob Grace, Overseas Operations Director, Land Rover and Robin Colgan, Managing Director Jaguar Land Rover, Middle East and North Africa. The visit included a tour of the new state-of-the-art Premier Motors aftersales facility in Musaffah, Abu Dhabi. Phil Popham said, "We are looking forward to a great year here in the UAE and across the Middle East. Our 2010 portfolio is receiving a tremendous response, both locally and globally, and we have a number of new market ventures and expansions planned for the Middle East. Combined with the support and ambition of our local importers such as Al Tayer Motors Dubai and Premier Motors Abu Dhabi, the new year is already looking positive."
Robin Colgan added, "Phil's visit demonstrated the support and commitment of Land Rover to the Middle East, and our importers. The market has seen a healthy uplift, and our entry into new countries, alongside some exciting announcements from our importer partners in the UAE and regionally, means Jaguar Land Rover is positioned to make great strides in the coming 12 months," The Middle East region is, of course, an important market for Land Rover. The brand has been at the forefront of the luxury SUV segment and is firmly positioned to capitalize on this in 2010.
Canada: Land Rover went to the Canadian International Autos Show with its 2010 model year line-up featuring the Range Rover Autobiography and the Range Rover Sport Autobiography Limited Edition. These vehicles were on show during the public show days of February 12-21.
For 2010, Land Rover's flagship Range Rover offers a powerful new supercharged LR-V8 engine, revolutionary interior technologies and enhanced driving dynamics to reinforce its position as the world's most complete luxury 4x4.
Iran: Land Rover is actively seeking entry into the largely untapped Iranian market. The firm, which was sold by US giant Ford to India’s Tata Motors in 2008, is seeking homologation, or official approval, from the Iranian authorities. “We’re currently studying the opportunity in Iran, which as you know is a country with very significant oil wealth, but it also has a very significant indigenous population,” Robin Colgan, managing director of Jaguar Land Rover in the MENA region, told Arabian Business.
Tunisia: Land Rover has announced the arrival in North Africa of the Freelander 2 TD4-e that features an intelligent Stop/Start system as an integral part of the car. The Freelander 2 TD4 e-is available in Tunisia, at Alpha International Tunisia. The Freelander 2 TD4 e- has a frugal diesel engine with the first stop/start system ever fitted to an off-roader. “The vehicle redefines the segment of premium compact SUV, offering outstanding performance on the road for unparalleled off-road performance”, says the manufacturer. The new stop/start system improves energy efficiency in urban areas and under conditions requiring repeated stops. The engine cuts out when neutral is engaged at a traffic light for example. It allows increasing fuel consumption to 6.7 l/100km vehicle only and reducing CO2 emissions to 179g/km. The Freelander 2 TD4 e-reinforces the range of existing Land Rover vehicles available in North Africa, such as the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery 4 and the Defender.
America; An accepted Land Rover strength is its off-road ability, but a serious weakness is its reliability, according to two leading research organizations, Consumer Reports and J. D. Power & Associates.
Jake Fisher, a senior engineer with the Consumer Reports Auto Test Division, says Land Rover’s performance can be summed up in one word, 'unreliable'. He said, 'They have been consistent in terms of having multiple problems in multiple areas.' In its last annual auto issue, dated April 2009, Consumer Reports ranked Land Rover last in reliability among 34 auto brands. J.D.Power’s dependability surveys routinely place Land Rover either at or near the bottom as well, 'They have traditionally trailed the industry by a significant margin,' said David Sargent, vice president for automotive research. Stuart Schorr, Land Rover’s vice president for communications, said many complaints involved minor issues like brake dust on wheels or the lack of a power liftgate. But he said Land Rover, 'recognizes in the past, quality was not something we excelled in.' He said the automaker was working hard to improve the quality of its vehicles, which are all assembled in Britain.
Mr. Sargent said Land Rover had improved in J.D.Power’s 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study, which covers three-year-old vehicles. The trend has been towards improvements; in the 2006 study there were 438 reported problems per 100 vehicles and by 2009, this had reduced to 238 but the industry average in that year was 170. Land Rover did much better on Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index, which ranks how people felt about their 2008-9 vehicles overall; the Range Rover ranked first in the luxury SUV segment.
New Zealand: Land Rover has launched the Discovery 4, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Vogue in an on-road driving exercise that reflects that, these days, luxury SUVs are almost exclusively used for on-road duties. Motorcorp Distributors Ltd of New Zealand is hoping there will be an increase in demand for Land Rover and Range Rover products. The MDL boss Russell Reynolds pointed out that Land Rover sales in New Zealand were down 47 per cent last year 'partly because of international stock shortages due to the world recession, and partly due to the fact that MDL was over-conservative in judging how many vehicles it would sell during the runout of the old models. He said, 'The new models were probably up to two months late arriving here, so for a while there last year we had no stock at all. The new models arrived just before Christmas, and a result sales in January jumped 280 per cent over January sales last year. That figure also put us 116% ahead of the average number of Land Rover sales for January.'
Australia: Downunder it was pointed out that Triumph's new 1599cc Thunderbird motorcycle has 'a nostalgic feeling that isn't reflected in the modern technology of the engine or mechanicals of the bike that feature ABS, fuel injection, a starter motor from a Land Rover Discovery and some over-engineering, such as the massive crank.' A Discovery starter motor?