The brand will compete against tuning companies through its SVO division.
The business for aftermarket tuners is stronger than ever. During the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, for example, all the scene's major players revealed their own versions of popular models. Many of them were of dubious taste, but that won’t stop the companies from creating new projects and, indeed, selling them at a pretty decent profit.
While most of the modern Land Rover tuning projects of Kahn Design, Startech, Onyx Concept, Arden and so on are polarising, there will always be customers willing to spend a fortune on an aerodynamic package or a hand-made leather interior. And it's this that annoys Gerry McGovern, Land Rover’s design director, who declared he wants to put third-party styling houses and tuners out of business by launching high-quality one-offs through the brand’s Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division.
“It’s easy to take a product that’s already been created and put a little spoiler on it or whatever, but I’d like to see them design their own car. We see them taking our property and making a bit more profit,” he told Autocar.
Land Rover models have always been a target for tuning companies, and the recently-launched Range Rover Velar is expected to attract studios at a similar level of interest. McGovern’s idea is to create better variants of those vehicles through SVO, and to attract customers interested in interior and exterior individualisations for their cars.
“Well, we’re going to put them out of business through SVO. The opportunities we’re creating there, and the quality of our work, are much better,” he added.
The Velar is Land Rover’s luxury entry into the coupe-SUV segment that will go on sale this summer. Wearing a starting price of £44,830, it will be offered with 2.0-litre and 3.0-litre petrol and diesel engines, while a limited First Edition series will sit at the top of the range for the first year on sale – for a price starting at £83,350.