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Posh Spice will boost Land Rover's attraction among metro women

Land Rover's tie-up with Victoria Beckham, announced at the unveil of the Evoque, could be a defining moment for the brand, managing director Phil Popham believes.

It is much more than a publicity stunt with the former Spice Girl - who launched her own fashion brand three years ago - showing genuine interest in what she can bring to the male-dominated world of Land Rover and its products.

With the unveil and announcement of the tie-up generating millions of website hits within days, Popham was even more convinced that the move was the right one.

Put 'Victoria Beckham' and 'Evoque' into a search engine and you'll turn up more than 88,000 global hits in just a couple of days.

Beckham will work two or three days a month for Land Rover and not just on the Evoque.

Popham met her for the first time only a few weeks before the Evoque unveil last week and was impressed. She went to HQ for a scheduled one-hour visit and left several hours later showing genuine flair and interest in what she could bring to the brand.

Limited edition models, bespoke Victoria Beckham interiors and not just on Evoque but also Freelander are some of the more obvious routes to take, he said, adding that David Beckham is also a Range Rover fan.

Fashion commentators believe Mrs Beckham has the talent and the eye for spotting a trend that could make her fledgling style label much sought after.

Victoria Beckham is immensely popular in China and the US, both key markets for Land Rover; Mr Popham expects China to overtake the US quite quickly as the brand's second biggest global market after the UK.

In both the US and China, Victoria Beckham's every move is followed voraciously by just the sort of woman who Mr Popham hopes will become Evoque customers.

"Two Chinese journalists said to me after the unveil that Victoria's presence would ensure it will be a hit in their country," he said as an example of the Victoria effect.

Land Rover dealers will have to do their homework too before the Evoque is launched next spring.

"It's going to bring a whole new customer to them - people with Minis or Audi TTs or people wanting to move out of premium segment saloons," said Range Rover brand manager Paul Butterworth.

Many Land Rover dealers remain the traditional, smaller, family-run specialist so Evoque will be taking them into new territory.

"It's difficult to judge but we expect very few Evoque buyers to trade out of models like Range Rover Sport," he said.

Evoque prices are expected to end at around £43,000, the starting price of Sport.

The deal with Victoria Beckham was the idea of Vogue magazine editor Alexandra Shulman who told reporters at the unveil in London, "I thought of her because she has a British fashion company, so this is a new brand merging with an old brand."
 



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