AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand. Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.
LR4 Edges Out Lexus GX For IVA Win: The 2012 Land Rover LR4 comes closest to the ideal of any Luxury SUV scoring a significant 21 rating-point win over the second place Lexus GX. Eighty-percent or more of LR4 owners find these characteristics ideal: exterior size, driver seat visibility, passenger roominess, cargo space, seat comfort, ride and handling, tires and wheels, ease of getting in and out and safety features.
More Infotainment Technology Needed: Nearly half of the LR4 owners want more or better infotainment and entertainment technology than they have now. While the LR4 has loads of technology under the skin allowing it to go anywhere, anytime, it falls down in an area growing more and more important in today’s automotive purchase process.
Styling Needs a Boost: About 30% of LR4 owners would like more daring exterior styling than they have now. While the LR4 achieves a purposeful and utilitarian look, pushing the styling envelope would be positively received by many owners and prospective owners.
You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/ideal-suvs-pickups-rated-by-owners-in-2012-iva-awards-112117/
For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact email@example.com and title your email “IVA Results”. A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.
Although the fad of pavement pounders and soccer moms driving vehicles better suited for the Camel Trophy than the city playground is over, Land Rover continues to offer the LR4 for those who still demand the a vehicle with no compromises. While Land Rover has never been known for quality, they have been known for their off-road prowess. Jeep might be known for something similar, but Jeep doesn’t offer anything with the no compromises capability of the 2011 Land Rover LR4. What other vehicle can move seven people off the beaten path in comfort and style and tow 7,000 pounds?
The debate over the usefulness of traditional, capable SUVs in today’s world seems to be coming to a close, with the more efficient and car-based crossover winning the argument. Who really needs a rock-climbing 12-mpg mountain goat on four wheels when all it gets used for is to pick up the kids from school and get to the mall?
For mainstream customers, there is no doubt that a crossover is a far better and more rational choice. But at the upper echelons of the marketplace, it’s not about rationale. It’s about image. It’s about knowing that even though the most challenging incline you’ll ever encounter is the spiral ramp that goes up the Beverly Center parking structure, your vehicle could scale Everest. Think about it: why else are commercial grade Viking appliances and five-figure digital SLR cameras so aspirational? It’s because their image is tied to professional strength capability, no matter that you won’t ever use said capability.
Women owning HUMMERs have a strong affinity for ten consumer brands in the USA.
AutoPacific’s Research Suite database that annually collects the opinions of over 30,000 buyers of new cars and light trucks asked which of 27 brands a new owner would buy from. The results from AutoPacific’s Consumer Brands Study clearly show the interrelationship between owners of auto brands and buyers of twenty-seven consumer brands like Walmart, Lowe’s, Apple, Sony, Hugo Boss, Costco, McDonalds and more.
What the study shows is that you likely won’t find a Porsche driven by a woman in a Walmart parking lot, but you are likely to find a Land Rover driven by a woman at an Apple Store. Using these data AutoPacific can develop clear profiles of the dynamics between these auto brands and consumer brands.
Looking only at female buyers, HUMMER buyers were most likely to shop at Lowe’s, Old Navy, The Gap, Walmart and to buy Coca Cola, Levi’s, Axe, LG, HP and Hugo Boss.
The only other brand that came close to HUMMER gals was Land Rover. They were tops in Polo, Methoc, Sony, Gucci, Hugo Boss and HP. They were also in the top five among Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Apple, Starbucks, Costco and Louis Vuitton shoppers.
The Land Rover LR2 wins the Luxury Crossover SUV Vehicle Satisfaction Award over strong domestic and import brand competition. In its second year in current form, the smallest Land Rover outscored the likes of the Acura RDX, Infiniti EX, BMW X3 and Lincoln MKX. LR2 scored well for product and financial attributes including:
• Ease of entry/egress
• Fuel economy and operating costs
• Value for the money, anticipated resale value
Below the jump, you can read Tata‘s official statement on buying Jaguar and Land Rover, now Jaguar Land Rover, from Ford today. However odd it may seem for these illustrious British marques to be owned by an Indian conglomerate, Tata may well end up being an excellent caretaker.
At least initially, it seems that Tata Motors
is looking to let the company continue with the product plans in place before the sale. Tata has ensured supply of needed engines and stampings through “long-term” agreements with Ford Motor Company and appointed David Smith the new Jaguar Land Rover CEO. Mr. Smith, who had been Jaguar Land Rover’s CFO, took on the role of acting CEO after Geoff Polites death in April. The appointment of a long-time Land Rover principal, holding twenty-five years with the SUV maker, indicates further support of the existing management staff.
As Tata gets more deeply involved, the business situation is bound to change. But the Indian company has patience, and seems to be ready to learn about the international business before making significant changes.
LRX Demonstrates Atomization of the SUV Market
Not all that long ago, we (and most other pundits) would have prescribed a pretty failsafe formula for how to create a successful SUV. Make it big, make it really upright, and give it plenty of power, OPEC be damned. Sure, everyone knows now that fuel prices are high, driving demand for more efficient means of transportation, but there are plenty of other factors driving the atomization of the once cookie-cutter SUV market.
Whatever you want to call them – body-on-frame utility vehicles, crossovers, car-based utilities, whatever – SUVs as a genre have matured to the point where there is plenty of space and demand for unique niches within the larger segment. In fact, consistent with the greater overall consumer demand we see nowadays for tailored, unique products that fit every taste (how many ways can you have your Starbucks?), the SUV segment is quickly becoming as diverse as the passenger car market. So is there a market for a sustainable, eco-friendly coupe-like Land Rover? Even five years ago, we probably would have given the notion a big thumbs down.
Seeking New Blood and New Concept Space
Land Rover’s LRX concept previews a niche luxury entry SUV product that we’re expecting to see within the next few years. This product would come in below the car-based Freelander, theoretically casting a wider net and providing a larger gateway to the Land Rover brand. We can see their logic here. Today’s oldest Gen Y buyers are coming of age and are starting to earn real money, and a huge number of them have grown up valuing prestige and premium branding. As a struggling brand (especially in Europe, where the traditional truck-based SUVs that Land Rover specializes in have become more irrelevant than ever), Land Rover has got to find some new blood – and the key hopefully lies in these young and open-minded buyers.
The reigning king of the Luxury SUV hill is probably the Range Rover. High priced at $77,175. Features most couldn’t conceive of in an off-road environment. Extremely competent off road. The top of the Land Rover line has established a tremendous reputation and following as THE aspirational Luxury SUV. Range Rover is not the best selling Luxury SUV, but it casts a wide shadow. And has since the early 1970s. VehicleVoice was on hand at The Grand Del Mar Hotel for the media preview of the Lexus LX570. Priced at $73,800, LX570 undercuts the Rangie, but is no less competent.
LX570 – 3rd Generation Lexus LX
Lexus entered the upper end of the Luxury SUV market in 1996 with a facelifted and upgraded Toyota Land Cruiser – the Lexus LX450. The 1st Gen LX was replaced in 1999 by the LX470 which was freshened in 2002 and 2005. So, after a ten year run, it is time for Lexus to bring its latest LX to the market – the LX570.
The first two LX generations did not set the world on fire from a sales standpoint. They were functional-looking SUVs loaded with features. Not head-turners. Not something to make your blood rush. They did, however, bring a very interesting clientele to Lexus. Younger, highly affluent, not wanting to make a strong statement with their vehicle. Confident, not having to show off their wealth. The 3rd Gen LX follows the same formula and hopes to attract the same type of buyer for slightly under 10,000 units per year or 3.5 LX570s per month for each of Lexus’ 223 dealers.
The rumors are heating up that the buyer of Jaguar and Land Rover is close to being finalized. The front runner appears to be the huge Indian conglomerate Tata and its automotive arm Tata Motors
. Others involved in the due diligence process thought to be less advantageous to Jaguar Land Rover for various reasons. The two private equity firms – Apollo and One Equity Partners
(led by former Ford CEO Jacques Nasser
) – are thought to be a bit too aggressive to have the best interests of the Jaguar and Land Rover brands and their workers at heart. Profit, profit, profit is the name of the game among the private equity sharks. A second car company that is interested in JLR is Mahindra & Mahindra
another Indian manufacturer specializing in SUVs and 4×4 vehicles. M&M may be a good fit with Land Rover, but Jaguar is well out of their experience zone.
So, Tata may be the winner when the dust settles adding JLR to its recent acquisitions of Tetley Tea and Corus Steel.
A November 23 Economist article is below the fold with more details.