Land Rover’s design director hopes to eliminate third-party tuners from competition

Article by Christian A., on March 22, 2017

Land Rover's Design Director Gerry McGovern announced that he plans to bump off third-party styling houses and tuners from the worldwide market through the company's own Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) division, and aims to launch all-new vehicles built with exclusive features.

Due to the high demands of car design modification and aftermarket parts, McGovern is striving to introduce a more sophisticated and superior alternative of these automobiles in the hopes of drawing more clients to patronize the exclusivity of Land Rover vehicles. He mentioned that he would like to see more of the tuning studios design their own car, stating the fact that more and more of these studios are taking property and frequently profit off from these LV models. However, he didn't name any of the styling houses that bugged him.

Through this new division, he indicated that more work opportunities will be hopefully offered and quality will be much better compared to what tuning companies are dishing out. Stuart Adlard, the senior vehicle engineering manager for SVO, indicated that he wants the SVO to become as distinguished and lucrative as its German rival.

Land Rover automobiles have long been considered a trendsetter with regards to styling and performance, but no matter how upscale Range Rovers are seen, there are still customers who want to up their A-game by further aesthetically modifying their rides. This is where the tuning studios and styling houses come in and are almost always ludicrously sought after. These customers flock to the likes of Kahn Design, Startech, Onyx Concept and Arden to personalize their vehicles to their hearts’ content, and there are car enthusiasts who don’t mind spending their Benjamins on an aerodynamic package, a car seat change, a hand-made leather interior, or anything they can think of altering.

At the Geneva 2017 Motor Show, different models of leading car companies were unveiled including the third-party tuning companies' own vehicles projects based on popular automobile models. Also featured in the event was the Range Rover's newest release, the RR Velar, which is equipped with a 2.0 liter gasoline and diesel engine. This BMW X4 and Mercedes Coupe Rival will have a price tag of $50,895 while its limited First Edition which has 3.0 liter V6 petrol will cost around $103,265 including $995 destination. All RR Velars that will be released will be four- wheel drive, and will all get an eight-speed automatic transmission. Also all six-cylinder vehicle will get air-suspension but this feature is only available to the higher version of the Velar, and the engines of the cheaper models will be fitted with coil springs only.

As refined and as swanky the Velar looks, it is expected that this will not escape the clutch of the tuners. Although the plan of Mr. McGovern is a bold step to earn not only more profit but also more loyalty and patronage of the clients, one can't help but feel that challenging tuning companies and rendering them obsolete is a long shot since there will still be a large demand for further personalization.


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