The historic Land Rover brand will take a back seat as Jaguar Land Rover tries to reinvent itself in transition toward a fully electric lineup. Instead, Land Rover's bestselling product lines will have their identities strengthened so they can be treated as their own brands.
The shift was confirmed to Motortrend, and explained by Gerry McGovern, chief creative officer at JLR. He said that because customers already refer to their Land Rovers by nameplate, and not as Land Rovers, the automaker itself might as well follow those naming conventions.
"People tell us they drive a Range Rover, not a Land Rover," McGovern told the outlet. "The reality is Range Rover is already a brand. So is Defender. We love the Land Rover name, but it doesn't have as much equity as Range Rover, and Defender is rising fast."
Land Rover will be reorganized along those lines, with the Range Rover, Defender, and Discovery all emphasizing their own distinct identities. It'll be similar to how Jeep is treating the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Confusingly, the Land Rover name will still be kept around for recognition, though it's not clear how it will be used.
JLR is trying to reinvent itself as part of a multibillion-dollar electrification shift. It aims to produce an electric version of every model by 2030, and solely EVs by 2036. It will do so by cutting its platform roster from seven architectures to just three, two of which will be Land Rover exclusives. MLA Flex will accommodate larger SUVs like the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport, while the smaller EMA will underpin the Evoque and Discovery Sport—it'll arrive in electric form in 2025.
Still, JLR's reputation for quality problems will be an obstacle to rebuilding its tumbling sales in the United States. In 2022, Land Rover posted its lowest U.S. sales volume since 2015 according to Good Car Bad Car, and 2023 is trending toward a similar volume. Restructured brands or not, JLR still needs to get the fundamentals right if it wants to endure the difficult process of electrification.
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