By on June 23, 2015

2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport

Land Rover USA sales jumped 19% to 5,382 units in May 2015, the fifth month out of the last six that Land Rover volume has crested the 5,000-unit barrier. Land Rover accomplished that feat just once in the previous twelve months.

More interesting than the brand’s surge – sales are up 25% year-to-date – is the fact that Land Rover shot off to a record start in 2015 with little impact from the LR2-replacing Discovery Sport.

The small Land Rover, available with emergencies-only third-row seating, is expected to eventually challenge for top spot on the Land Rover leaderboard, if not in the United States then globally. In the U.S., the Range Rover Sport is consistently Land Rover’s best-selling model, followed by the Range Rover and Range Rover Evoque, the latter of which is closely related to the more family-friendly Discovery Sport.

(LR4 sales, incidentally, have doubled so far this year, but that’s a follow-up to a four-year low in 2014, when sales were down 77% compared with 2005.)

2015 Land Rover Discovery Sport interior

Nevertheless, the departing LR2 and incoming Discovery Sport have, thus far, combined for a 62% decline through the first five months of 2015, and it’s alongside this entry-level dearth that overall Land Rover volume has increased by more than 5,500 units year-to-date. Just what might the brand do when Land Rover’s U.S. outpost finally receives a healthy number of Discovery Sports?

In May 2015, for example, when Land Rover sales increased by 846 units, the new Discovery Sport only accounted for 8.2% of total Land Rover volume. Only 440 copies of the new vehicle were sold last month, which still represented a 13% increase compared with the LR2’s year-ago total.

As the Discovery Sport ramps up, Land Rover’s two most expensive models continue to carry the load in the U.S. The iconic Range Rover and its lesser sibling, the Range Rover Sport, accounted for six out of every ten Land Rover sales last month. Each vehicle, on its own, outsold the whole Jaguar division, where sales slid 8% to just 1,204 units in May. That’s fewer than Maserati managed. It was also Jaguar’s fourth year-over-year monthly sales decline in 2015.

Comparisons with Jaguar – even when they show that Land Rover sales are routinely four times stronger than at the partner car brand; even when they manifest meaningful growth – do still tend to highlight the fact that Land Rovers are not terribly common.

But that’s not to say Land Rovers are rare everywhere. Land Rover’s market share in the brand’s home UK market grew to 2.8% through the first five months of 2015. Although Americans have registered six times more new vehicles than UK residents so far this year, Brits have actually taken ownership of 3,451 more new Land Rovers.

Land Rover’s year-to-date U.S. market share? 0.4%.

But that’s the Discovery Sport’s reason for being, to increase the brand’s standing in a core growth sector. Competitors from Audi, BMW, Acura, Lexus, and the like combined for 105,000 U.S. sales in the first five months of 2015. If the Discovery Sport manages to improve upon the LR2’s standing in that category – and it will – Land Rover’s overall tally may well explode in the latter half of the year.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

23 Comments on “Land Rover USA Is Surging And The Discovery Sport Is Only Just Ramping Up...”


  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    Good to hear, the Buy Here Pay Here lots were starting to get worried about future inventory constraints :)

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Hell, I can pay half what they want for these and get a perfectly good compliance blob that’s just as timid looking and tight inside.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      New? Doesn’t the Discovery Sport start around 40? Not too many SUVs this size below $20K. A loaded CR-V or Escape will run you into the 30s easy.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        I jest, but not by much. And I never option-up anything. Old people with functioning memories don’t need to.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        The Disco Sport gets SO EXPENSIVE so quickly. And no matter how many options you glue on, you can’t fix the disgusting poor person dash. It’ll always be there to remind you “You couldn’t even afford a real DISCOVERY! Pleeb.”

    • 0 avatar
      Fred

      But wouldn’t you really want something nicer than the cheapest thing out there?

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I’m entry in my 30s, and base model cars are way nicer than the 1980s cars I learned to drive in… And many mid trim cars heve more features than I expected luxury car.

        Advanced features? “My smartphone does that” especially if the car comes with Bluetooth.

        The extra addons at this point are things like auto-braking systems and lane departure warning systems, not things like A/C and usable door locks.

        I’ve entered the demographic that can pay for a luxury car (and is sometimes expected to have one), but I’m left wondering what I’d be paying for, beyond snob appeal? I ain’t no snob, so the appeal there is limited.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          “I’ve entered the demographic that can pay fora luxury car, but I’m left wondering what I’d be paying for, beyond snob appeal? I ain’t no snob, so the appeal is limited.”

          That’s what I’m talking about.

          • 0 avatar
            heavy handle

            I understand where you are coming from, but I’ve found that I will definitely pay more for better seats, more power, better handling, and a nicer interior.

            Seats are the real clincher. I can drive my Saab for 16 hours with no problem, but my lower back seizes-up after a few hours in a rental Toyota. It’s not worth it to save a few bucks and have a sore back, no steering feel, and a grey plastic interior.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            I don’t care about power or handling, but anything that touches upon a medical issue, yeah, buy what’s best for you.

            I’ve led a pampered life regarding seats; I’m comfortable in pretty much any kind so long as I can sit bolt-upright.

            Hmm… that’s got to be a major reason I fetishize roof height in cars. And why I have removed RVMs, relying on side mirrors.

        • 0 avatar
          Fred

          To me it’s more than just stuff and tech. Better upholstery, nicer steering wheel, less rattles, better ride, better service. That really defines luxury/premium for me. A lot of tech is just nice but hardly a requirement.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          “what I’d be paying for, beyond snob appeal? I ain’t no snob, so the appeal there is limited.”

          You’ve just described Volvo’s entire problem.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “But wouldn’t you really want something nicer than the cheapest thing out there?”

        Any Honda already gives you that. Plus, I have some pretty rank and scary vehicles in my memory banks; nothing sold new in the US today seems déclassé compared to those.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    It’s all about the Kardashians tv show, right?
    I think they are totally responsible for the sales burst.

  • avatar
    Pebble

    Parked in the apartment complex where I live (working poor folk, mostly) are both a Land Rover and a Range Rover. Apparently there’s some demand…they stick out from the surrounding Pontiac G6/Saturns/old K cars in the parking lots.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Why do you think they’re parked? They don’t run. They’ll stick out less as their air suspensions gradually allow them to sink.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        At my old apartment, there was a guy that kept buying Euro cars at the nearby pulbic car auction, inevitably with some issues. First he had a Range Rover that was always listing or full sunk down. Next it was an R-series mercedes, which also sat with a serious lean towards the driver front.

        More recently, I saw a very new looking GL mercedes (no more than 3-4 years old) with the front end in low rider mode, the soccer mom behind the wheel apparently blissfully unaware.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Lol, no surprise she wasn’t aware. The GL sort of has a front-lean look anyway even when there’s nothing wrong with it.

          Moral of the story: No air suspensions for the BHPH customer*.

          Edit: Other item which always looked leaning from factory – the final Q45 02-06, when viewed from the side. Looked like there was a fat person sitting in the back all the time!

          I was told upon researching that the wheel clearance in the back was (from factory) lower at the rear than the front.

          *With the exception of Lincoln products, which go wrong less often, and are cheap/easy to fix when said happens.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            “No air suspensions for the BHPH customer.”

            The first gen Navigator disagrees with you.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I redid the automatic load leveling (read: air suspension) in my ’98 MPV, and it wasn’t horribly difficult or expensive. The stock setup is air shocks, with weak steel springs in a support role, and a simple level sensor that kicks on the compressor. When one of the shocks finally burst, I bought the OE non-air setup steel springs ($75 a side as I recall), and some direct fit Monroe air shocks ($70 for the pair). Stock lines plugged into the Monroe shocks and that was that. The key was upgrading to the springs that could support that vehicle all on their own, without that the weaker-than-stock Monroe shocks would quickly fail. Most people that have a shock fail just drive as is with the compressor wailing away until it burns up. OE mazda air shocks were obscenely expensive, as was the compressor. Some guys modified Town Car compressors to work just fine.

          I liked the setup enough to implement it in my 4Runner, but with a simple schrader valve that I inflate with a bike pump when the truck is loaded down.

          The Merc/LR replacement parts from someone like Arnott are nowhere as cheap, but have lifetime warranties.

          Long story short the air suspensions setups definitely aren’t all equally complex or expensive, but a good rule of thumb for most consumers is to just avoid them.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Interesting.

            -Didn’t know the MPV had this (figured it was more simple and truck-y). Was this only on the AWD All-Sport? And I can’t remember if the AWD meant mandatory All-Sport trim there, or if there was an AWD regular. Maybe that was only before the revamp in ~96.

            -Seems like many with LR problems choose to just convert to traditional suspension instead. I think if I HAD to purchase a used LR product, and knew I was on a budget, I’d go with one which had been converted. According to Mr. Khrodes, the older pre-04 ones ride like trucks even with the air, so may as well have truck simplicity underneath.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Good question about the AllSport package, you think I’d know given my obsession with these quirky things. In ’96 you could definitely get a non-Allsport, with the simpler grill and “4WD” spelled out on the rear passenger door with a red ‘4.’ Load leveling suspension can be pretty truck-y IMO, Lexus trucks oftentimes have them. With a solid rear axle it’s pretty darn simple to implement. It allows for better towing/load hauling without having to stick super stiff springs out back and ruin the unladen ride.

  • avatar

    Does the presence of the Discovery Sport mean the LR4’s replacement will be called a Discovery once more, as it is everywhere else in the world?


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • theBrandler: All this push for electrification is overlooking the obvious middle ground that could capture some...
  • Mike-NB2: Back after Ford made the announcement that they were going to stop building/selling cars in North America I...
  • scott25: Agree that it should’ve been a 3 door, but there was a 3 door of the previous gen in Europe as well, even if...
  • scott25: Wonder how much of that $1995 is going to veterans charities?
  • stuki: You’re more correct than you perhaps intended. BEVs will be viable, once they only need to carry enough...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States