Dubai: British firm Kahn Design has unveiled two new kits for the 2010 Range Rover Sport, called the RS300 Cosworth and the RS600 Supercharged. The 300 hp diesel RS300 has a Cosworth-tuned TDI engine, and 22-inch wheels, new front mesh grille, custom body kit, custom leather interior, carbon fibre engine cover, numbered conversion plaque and Cosworth exterior branding. The supercharged 600 hp RS600 has a Kahn-tuned 5.0-litre V8, 22-inch wheels, wide-arch body kit, mesh front grille, boot and roof spoiler, quad exhaust system and a custom leather interior. The kits are available from Kahn Design.
Russia: The 2010 Model Year Range Rover has been awarded 'Best Full-Size Off-Road Vehicle’ at the Car of the Year awards in Moscow, Russia. The annual Car of the Year awards celebrate Russia's top vehicles, voted for by more than 1.5 million Russian car owners. Cars recognized to be the best in their category are nominated as national favorites. Aleksey Shilykovsky, Land Rover Sales and Marketing Director for Russia said of the award, 'We are thrilled that the Range Rover has been nominated Russia's best full-size off-road vehicle. It confirms its peerless position in an ever-competitive market.'
South Africa: A man was arrested after he and an accomplice allegedly hijacked a car in Randburg on Wednesday, Johannesburg police said. Inspector Kym Cloete said the men hijacked a Discovery 4 Land Rover from the Land Rover premises on the corner of Main and Halifax streets, 'They tried to force the driver onto the passenger seat, but he was able to escape. The suspects then took off in the hijacked vehicle, and the driver ran into the company building to alert the employees,' he said. Land Rover employees then pursued the vehicle, and were able to get the attention of a security vehicle. The security vehicle tried to bring the hijacked vehicle to a stop at the corners of William Nicol and Peter Place, Bryanston where a shoot-out ensued between the security and the suspects. The men left the vehicle and ran in different directions but the Land Rover employees and a member of the public were able to catch the one suspect who will appear in the Randburg Magistrate's Court soon. The second man is still at large but the car was recovered and no one was injured in the shoot-out.
Philippines: Team Land Rover Philippines, boasting a tandem considered as the country’s best off-road drivers, finished eighth finish in the 2009 Rainforest Challenge in Johor Baru, Malaysia, recently. Veteran driver Larry Mendiola and co-driver Sergio Jamilla III, using a Land Rover Defender fitted with a V8 Range Rover engine, gamely battled the elements in the 10-day challenge in Johor Baru’s rainforest and ended as one of just three non-Malaysian teams in the top 10 of the prestigious event The team finished first runner-up in the 'above 3000cc' category and also grabbed the special award as the 'Most Upcoming Team' in the event that attracted 38 teams from 19 countries. The duo stressed their vehicle proved its worth in extreme conditions, adding the vehicles of other some teams broke down after the difficult and highly technical course that included the prologue into the rainforest.
USA: A noted 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.' 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. He said, however, that 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 a 'fairly dramatic uptick' in J.D.Power’s 2009 Vehicle Dependability Study, which covers three-year-old vehicles. The trend has been improving; in the 2006 study there 438 reported problems per 100 vehicles; by 2009, there were 238. Despite this gain, some feel that the company remains uncompetitive. The industry average in 2009 was 170; Lexus led Land Rover’s rivals with 126. Land Rover did better on Strategic Vision’s Total Quality Index, which ranks how people felt about their 2008-09 vehicles overall where the focus was not just on problems or dislikes. The Range Rover ranked first in the luxury SUV segment. Another piece of good news is that a 2009 J. D. Power survey, which looks at customer satisfaction with dealerships, ranked Land Rover seventh best in the industry, behind Lexus and Acura but ahead of luxury brands including Audi, Infiniti, Mercedes and Porsche. Another Power study, which looks at 'how gratifying a new vehicle is to own and drive, ranked Land Rover ninth, well above the industry average.
Lebanon: 'Lebanon is a trendsetter,' said Abdo Sweidan, the chief executive of Lebanon’s most successful car dealer Rasamny Younis Motor, 'Cars that do well here go on to do well in the rest of the Middle East. Our disadvantage is the size of our market.' Local dealers are upbeat that the bullish economy will see more sales, especially in the business-to-business segment that accounts for 35 per cent of the market. All this should be good news for the sector but there is still concern over the fact that importers pay prohibitive duty and 10% VAT. Imposing both strangles consumption, they argue. Drop one and the state would see revenue levels remain constant as a result of the increased sales.
China: Land Rover boosted its China sales to over 5000 vehicles for the first quarter of 2010, and set a new record in one quarter with an increase of 200%, nearly half of last year’s total sales. Land Rover’s March sales grew by 168% year on year; the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and the fourth-generation Discovery all broke the single-month sales records, with growth ranging from 100% to 400% from a year earlier. What’s worth mentioning is that the sales of the 2010 Range Rover Sport increased by 400% in a single quarter year on year, becoming another major force of Land Rover’s high-end models. The Chinese market, which is Land Rover’s third largest market in the world, has outpaced other competitors with significant market increase, showing its amazing potential in the auto market. 'We will continue to dedicate ourselves with great confidence to the development of China’s auto market,' said Scott Dicken, general manager of Land Rover China.