I have been finding it very hard to get any details on the launch of the new Defender and how it is impacting on JLR finances . This FT article speaks of a paltry 22,000 advanced orders and the fact that the latest James Bond film release date being " put back " has severely dented publicity efforts . Exports to China have only just begun 2 months behind schedule and to date I have only seen one vehicle on my almost daily drives up and down the M6 . In Guy Salmon yesterday I was told that Jaguar sales are almost stagnant with the X351 viewed as yesterdays model and unwanted while the F Type revamp , always a limited marketplace likewise . There has been some used sales across all models but Buyers are looking for discounts which further erodes profitability for the Dealerships who are already on tight margins .
All car sales are stagnant at the moment, they have come back a bit since April but these are almost all just fleet buyers. Do fleet buyers buy new Defenders? I doubt it in general. I posted about 2 years ago that financed car sales account for 90%+ of all new car sales in the UK. I think I read that August last year sat just 8900 new non-fleet buyer sales in the country. If this is true and the expectation that finances will be squeezed in the near future, buying a new Defender instead of keeping your old defender going is not a great idea. Times are going to get a lot harder as soon as the furlough scheme ends and sales managers who don't meet targets will be at the front of the queue at the chopping block.
While out for a ride this morning I saw a new Land Rover Defender driving around, my god somebody hit it with the ugly stick. It looks like a cross between a jacked up Nissan Cube and Honda E styling and with a happy face effect going on for the front end. Whoever designed it was having a bad inspiration day and whoever buys one has more money than imagination. It makes the Bentley Bentayga look positively supermodel-esq.
Will be interesting to see which V8 they eventually put into it.
Ian I have to tell you that I think JLR have completely lost the plot where Landrover is concerned . We have so much crossover where models are simply taking sales from others within the range that it makes one wonder what the future actually holds . Take this V8 Defender , do JLR actually believe this is going to rival the Mercedes G Wagon which is in itself a limited marketplace ? In my humble view there are simply too many models doing the same thing and appealing to the same marketplace , surely I cant be alone in thinking this .