Land Rover dealers have begun training this month ready to capture a new set of customers with its Range Rover Evoque.
The 120-strong network has from now until the Evoque enters UK showrooms late next summer to understand the configurations available and to plan how to tempt in buyers from other premium brands.
Evoque will be priced from around £30,000 and will target a slightly younger customer base than the existing Range Rover and Range Rover Sport. More buyers are expected to be female. Land Rover expects Evoque’s availability in two-wheel drive form, a first for the carmaker, will also give it greater appeal to urban motorists.
John Edwards, Land Rover UK managing director, said: “This will be a conquest car, but in reality some of our existing customers will go for it. We expect 90% to be conquest, plus some Range Rover owners coming into it and Freelander customers wanting to trade up.”
Interest in the Evoque is already strong and Edwards said demand will exceed supply, which will equate to strong margins for dealers.
For Land Rover, he said, the challenge is how to market Evoque and target the broader customer base which could be buyers.
Land Rover’s UK sales have been strong this year. It currently enjoys a 1.9% share of the total new car market, after a tough 2009 saw it end at 1.5%. Network morale is high, as evidenced by a strong third-place finish on franchise value in the latest RMI Franchised Dealer Attitude Survey.
Edwards said: “The way to keep dealers happy is to help them make money and they are making good money at the moment. They’re willing to invest and are doing so.”
Half of the network has upgraded to the latest Land Rover retail environment and small investments are being made in IT and sales hardware.
Edwards said Range Rover Sport and Discovery 4 have been selling well and a strong order bank has built up for the 2011 model year cars.
He admits the heavy snow earlier this year worked in the brand’s favour in reminding motorists what 4x4 vehicles are capable of – Land Rover sent out its vehicles to support ambulance services and organisations helping the elderly and vulnerable.