>Unless one is looking for an off-road vehicle (as opposed
>to a 4 wheel drive), in which case none of the vehicles above
>need apply. If LR want to compete on even terms with X5's etc
>then they need a whole new vehicle, which would no longer be
>a Land Rover and may as well have a Ford badge to avoid diluting
>even further the marques image.
>X5's etc simply reinforce the anti-4x4 peoples case and are
>gong to do untold harm to those of us who actually go off-road
>(i.e. not just National Trust car parks and insisting on
>parking with two wheels on the kerb) and/or use our vehicles
>off-road for work.
>Sorry if I've upset anyone, but BMW, VW, Porsch (actually VW
>with a spot of badge engineering) and even the current Shoguns
>(have a look at the ground clearance) are all utterly pointless
>vehicles - their owners would be much better off with a
>4 wheel drive MPV, though slightly less inflated ego's.
I disagree, in part. They are not pointless, though they are not
ideal as working vehicles in tough off-road conditions. Land Rover
(so far) still provide a very good vehicle for this, comparatively
small, market. Whilst the larger estates from Volvo, BMW et al do a
fine job (and I've got one), they not as good load carriers, not as
good tow vehicles and do not provide they great driving position of
the 4x4 vehicles.
I agree that 4x4 is a complete waste of a gearbox or three for many
buyers, but then again lots of people have spare bedrooms and we don't
force them to move house. It's called freedom, long may it reign.
From Land Rover's perspective, their market requires these vehicles.
That they are selling in huge numbers proves the point, as do the
waiting lists for the BMW X3 and the profit figures from the Range
Rover. If they do not respond and provide a product the market
requires they will fail as a business.
As for 'protecting the marque's image' - excuse me? They have a
lamentable reputation far and wide. Since day one every vehicle they
have produced is still the best off-roader in its class bar none,
including the Range Rover Sport. Improving quality and meeting
customer demand is the only way to improve that reputation. Pushing
the image of military equipment and agricultural machinery would be
Remember the British motorbike industry? No, neither do I.
'58 Series 2 88" aka "Stig"
'77 101FC Ambulance aka "Burrt"
'03 Volvo V70
My Landies? http://www.seriesii.co.uk
Tony Luckwill web archive at http://www.luckwill.com