The iconic Land Rover Range Rover was officially introduced to the United States 25 years ago this year in 1987. To celebrate this milestone, Land Rover will host a special celebration in conjunction with the New York Auto Show and will invite consumers to an urban off-road adventure where they will drive 2012 model year vehicles at a custom-made course in the heart of New York City’s meatpacking district. In the past quarter century, the growth and acceptance of the Land Rover brand in the U.S. marks a true product and brand success story. That success is defined by loyal customers, a distinct authentic brand and consistent sales success.
The original Range Rover (colloquially known as the “Range Rover Classic”) established a new market segment for dual-purpose vehicles that could go almost anywhere and has been the platform for numerous technological innovations in the industry. Its unmatched capability, rich heritage, and favored status among world leaders, entertainment personalities, athletes and design visionaries has established the Range Rover as a benchmark icon.
Created in 1970 by Land Rover as their second model, the Range Rover luxury SUV was an addition to the well-established Land Rover utility vehicles that evolved after WWII. Land Rover vehicles were frequently featured in movies, TV shows about African exploration, and world news coverage. Land Rover was often the vehicle of choice for teams bringing humanitarian relief in war zones or natural disasters.
In the 1980s, four-door sport utility vehicles (SUVs) were beginning to emerge in America. Often built on pick-up truck chassis with rather harsh rides, the lack of refinement often limited their appeal as all-purpose family cars. An innovation featured on the Range Rover was the use of coil springs at all four wheels, rather than leaf springs, as seen on other four wheel drive vehicles. This suspension design gave it an exceptionally smooth ride.
The first Range Rover had a U.S. price of $30,850, an unprecedented figure for a vehicle most people thought of as a truck rather than a luxury car. The Range Rover of North America team set out to establish the brand, offering potential customers the opportunity to add the Range Rover to their portfolio of the very best luxury goods that life has to offer.
In the past 25 years, the Range Rover has achieved an enviable position in the marketplace, and has been the choice of discriminating buyers for its prestige, panache and performance. Land Rover’s latest success story is the launch of the award winning 2012 Range Rover Evoque, the company’s lightest and most fuel-efficient SUV ever. The all-new Range Rover Evoque has received over 90 international awards including the 2012 ‘North American Truck of the Year’ and the 2012 Motor Trend ‘SUV of the Year’. The award winning Range Rover Evoque is currently sold out and expected to remain on backorder for the remainder of 2012.
With 2011 sales up a remarkable 20 percent, Land Rover in North America scored the largest improvement, percentage-wise, of any of its luxury vehicle competitors with total sales exceeding 38,000 vehicles.