19 June 2017

Land Rover South Africa : Trying Times

Land Rover has enjoyed disproportionate success over the years in the Republic. Rural expanses in often arid conditions are what we think of and that picture is true to a point. Of course, many Land Rovers are used mainly as urban vehicles like in most countries but if required, they are suitable for off road trekking.

Considering sales that exclude commercial sales of the Defender model, LR consistently achieves in excess of 1% share, not a large percentage but more than most nations. Looking back over some years, it has moved around quite a bit from just above 2% to 0.8%. Things have softened recently, I assume LR has chosen not to chase sales at the cost of profit. The South African market is increasingly challenging and many premium marques are facing this issue.

The Discovery is popular but shortage of stock - as the old model ran out - hasn't helped. However, that has only added to the downward trend, rather than being the main reason for it. Going upmarket may be working fine in affluent lands, but the economy is changing here so a lower priced entry model would surely have made a huge difference on the total sales.

Summary: Land Rover has been a popular brand here, but its ever more premium range will affect sales. The new Discovery will be welcome but again its more expensive, albeit a better product. It will be interesting to see how the new Velar model is received here as well. I predict 2017 sales will be down on 2016, so for now in terms of outright volume, the reduction continues.

Land Rover Passenger Car Sales : RSA

Make/Yr 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016

Disc Sp/Freel 986 955 529 1,161 1,136

RR Sport 690 724 1,410 1,171 982

Discovery 2,738 2,601 1,999 1,620 886

Evoque 2,105 2,192 1,590 1,126 872

Range Rover 169 449 299 297 223

Defender - - - 36 -

Total 6,688 6,921 5,827 5,411 4,099

Share 1.5% 1.5% 1.3% 1.3% 1.1%

Data source: Naamsa.

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