Land Rover 'vastly underestimated' new model demand, in supply crunch
On the back of the finest lineup since Maurice Wilks put pencil to paper in 1947, Land Rover is moving serious metal. To go back to our toddler analogy, the brand is just getting to the point where it's realized that it's asking its legs to go too quickly. According to a report on Automotive News Europe, the current wait for the sublimely good Range Rover Sport is nine months, while its big brother has a six-month wait. As ANE points out, matters are even worse in China, where a full-tilt Range Rover is selling for 2.8 million yuan, or a staggering $457,000 at today's rates. In fact, Chinese customers are so adamant about getting a Range Rover that they've been willing to pony up 60,000-euro ($81,024) premiums just to be at the head of the queue.
While faced with crushing demand, Land Rover finds itself unable to increase supplies. The factory at Solihull, where the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, Discovery/LR4 and Defender are built, is running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and still can't build vehicles fast enough. Its Ford-built engines, meanwhile, remain in short supply, as well, so that even if the brand could increase vehicle production, it'll still be bottlenecked by a lack of engines. It's good to see Land Rover in this kind of open-field sprint, but if the supply issues can't be figured it, things only seem likely to end in tears.
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