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Land Rover & Range Rover: Big in UK & Europe – Small in North Africa and Middle East !

Land Rover and Range Rover are two very well-known and respected brands in the automotive world, especially on some continents such as Europe and the USA. Unfortunately in some other markets, such as North Africa and the Middle East those two brands are not so popular and successful when compared with the main competitors from BMW, Mercedes, Infiniti, Lexus, Cadillac and Porsche.

Especially in the Egyptian market those two British brands are almost non-existent, due to the lack of brand awareness in general and the very poor reputation and bad image of the local Land Rover dealer MTI, which is obviously completely overstrained with the other brands it represents equally-bad because of its completely unprofessional and incompetent management.

The many complaints from Land Rover-, Jaguar- and Ferrari-customers are surely also one of the main reasons why most people do not want to deal with MTI and therefore refrain from buying and Land Rover or Jaguar models.

This is also one of the main reasons why the new Range Rover Sport, the new Range Rover and the new Jaguar XJ will probably have no success at all in this market.

This is surely a big shame, especially since those Land Rover and Jaguar models could compete very well with the established competition from Germany, Japan and the USA. This is a very valid reason why Jaguar Land Rover should seriously consider new dealers and importers in some countries of the MENA region, and on top of those countries should be a dealer-change in Egypt.

I assume that this is also one of the many reasons why not too many potential customer will hear or read about two interesting Land Rover events this month. One of the them took place in UK, the other one will take place in New York.

Anyway, let us talk about quickly about those two events.

The first one is that Land Rover joins the celebrations for the commissioning of the Royal Navy’s newest warship by announcing an affiliation with HMS Defender and supplying a Land Rover Defender for its use whilst on dry land. Company representatives were among the guests attending the official ceremony at the HM Naval Base in Portsmouth, the Type 45 destroyer’s home port.

The name provides an obvious link: HMS Defender is the navy’s fifth warship of its name, while today’s Land Rover Defender can trace its roots directly back to the original Land Rover of 1948. The two are also fine examples of British engineering, the former built at the Govan shipyard on the River Clyde in Scotland, and the latter at the Land Rover plant in Solihull. Both are designed and equipped to tackle tough, albeit very different, environments around the world.

Mark Cameron, Land Rover Brand Experience Director – Global Marketing, said: “We are proud of our Land Rover Defender as an expression of what Land Rover has stood for for more than 60 years, and in the same spirit we are also proud of our new association with HMS Defender and her servicemen and women.

“Our affiliation reflects shared values and heritage that represent the best of Britain on the world stage. We look forward to sharing experiences and friendship in the future as HMS Defender takes up her duties.”

HMS Defender Commanding Officer, Commander Nash said: “The Commissioning of HMS Defender is a hugely significant day in this state of the art warship’s life – it marks the point at which building and testing the ship finishes and frontline service in the Fleet begins. It is also important to recognise that for the 190 women and men that make up my ship’s company this day of Commissioning represents the culmination of months and years of hard work, of training, trials and practice focussed on ensuring that Defender is ready to undertake operations around the world whenever tasked. We are extremely proud of our achievement and would like to thank our partners in British industries for their assistance in reaching this goal. Land Rover have lent great support for the staging of the ceremonial event today and on behalf of My Ship’s Company and guests I would like to pass our sincere thanks for that assistance. ”

Today’s commissioning ceremony is a significant occasion that will be recorded in Royal Navy history, the moment when HMS Defender is officially taken up into the Fleet’s Order of Battle under the White Ensign. The destroyer was launched in 2009 and has undergone extensive sea trials prior to entering service this year. It has a number of other affiliations, notably with the cities of Glasgow and Exeter.

The second Land Rover event, is the launch of the new Range Rover Sport in New York.

The all-new Range Rover Sport will make its global premiere in a ground breaking live drive through Manhattan, New York, on 26 March. Land Rover's fastest, most responsive and most agile vehicle to date will be revealed to audiences around the world on the eve of the 2013 New York Auto Show.

The drive will take place on the streets of the Range Rover Sport's largest market – New York City. More Sports are sold in New York than any other metropolitan area in the world and the model is North America’s best-selling Land Rover product.

In a first for Land Rover, the event will be broadcast live to global audiences via a dedicated microsite.
The all-new Range Rover Sport is the latest addition to the new Range Rover family of vehicles and the third Range Rover model to be launched in two years. It follows the launch of the acclaimed Range Rover Evoque in 2011 and the peerless all-new Range Rover in 2012.

John Edwards, Land Rover Global Brand Director, said: “The all-new Range Rover Sport takes the model to another level. It is Land Rover’s most dynamic vehicle yet and showcases the best of British design, engineering and technological innovation.”

I personally hope that Land Rover also decides to take its dealer-ships in North Africa and the Middle East to another level, in order to offer its products and its customers a professional and respectable platform.

Whitley (UK) – Cairo – Dubai

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