Tag: Land Rover

By on July 7, 2020

Tata Motors has been hunting for a new CEO at Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), and new reports claim the search is narrowing in scope. At the start of 2020, the company announced that Ralf Speth would step down as chief executive in September, and that the quest for his replacement had begun — though it technically began in 2019.

We’ve since learned he will stick around as non-executive vice-chairman of JLR and supervise the transition of leadership, with details now emerging about his likely successor. It’s a clever way of keeping him around as he ages into retirement at 65 years, as per the parent company’s corporate policy.

According to the Financial Times, Tata has narrowed it down to three candidates. Internally, JLR seems as though it would like to promote its engineering lead, Nick Rogers. But former Audi CEO Bram Schot and BMW development boss Klaus Fröhlich are also under consideration, in addition to Fred Schulze — Audi’s product line manager at the Ingolstadt plant.  (Read More…)

By on July 6, 2020

If it seems like years have passed since we’ve issued an update on Ineos Group’s attempt at building a Defender-inspired SUV, that’s because it has been. The British chemical conglomerate asked Land Rover if it could assemble copies of the then-defunct automobile back in 2016, only to be told to take a hike. Unfazed, CEO Jim Ratcliffe said Ineos would move ahead on the program anyway — focusing instead on building an updated model “influenced” by the utility vehicle, but not a carbon copy.

The company now says the model, dubbed Grenadier, is swiftly approaching production. Even though it doesn’t share any parts with the vintage Defender 110, it still resembles the 4×4 utility to a point that might lead to continued legal troubles with Jaguar Land Rover.  (Read More…)

By on June 12, 2020

2020 Land Rover Defender

This interview should’ve been posted months ago.

I sat with Jaguar Land Rover North America Product Planning Director Rob Filipovic at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show (remember those?) to talk about the reborn Defender.

Then, I screwed up. I didn’t write the piece right away due to other work and travel. Still, the first drive was scheduled for mid-April, and I thought maybe the interview would work well as a companion piece to our first drive of the Defender.

You know the rest.

(Read More…)

By on June 8, 2020

2020 Land Rover Defender

Months ago, I was supposed to board a plane to Old Blighty to drive the new Land Rover Defender.

Given the vehicle’s heritage and importance to the brand, I was excited to see if it was a worthy successor to the famous series of SUVs that came before. I was also excited to go to England for the first time. My Austin Powers impression would be so much cooler if performed in the Old Empire (narrator voice: It would not).

Before I could even finish the paperwork for an international excursion, my flight — and everyone else’s — was canceled. As you know, the pandemic killed off new-car launches for the foreseeable future, although JLR merely “postponed” this one.

(Read More…)

By on April 29, 2020

We continue our conversation on automotive design from the recently ended 2010s this week. Prior installments in this series have covered the best and worst affordable SUVs and CUVs, and last week, the best of the not so affordable.

In today’s entry, we’ll discuss the worst upscale 2010s designs to ever grace the driveways of North America.

(Read More…)

By on April 22, 2020

We continue our discussion of SUV and CUV design from the 2010s today with our third question entry of the series. The first and second editions covered the best and worst parts of affordable SUV/CUV design, with a strict price ceiling of $48,000.

Today we head upscale and only consider really expensive rides.

(Read More…)

By on April 17, 2020

2019 Land Rover Range Rover Sport HSE P400e

Even Range Rovers need to go green.

Or, at the very least, offer “green” engine options to accrue cred with the right kind of well-heeled buyers.

While I believe some of the greenies with plenty of green in their bank account are sincere about their intentions to save the planet (and I definitely believe the climate is changing, and we’re at fault), other green types are simply signaling virtue. Still others think they’re doing the right thing, without considering that not all hybrids are the same.

Some hybrids aren’t even meant to maximize fuel economy – their electrified hardware strives mainly for enhanced performance.

(Read More…)

By on April 8, 2020

2017 Honda HR-VWe return to the 2010s today to conduct more design evaluations. Previously in this series we covered the best and worst standard car designs, then did the same for upscale cars. Today we consider the 10-year span when the SUV and other SUV-like things strengthened their grasp on consumer sales, then choked out nearly everything that wasn’t a pickup truck.

(Read More…)

By on March 23, 2020

A brace of road-oriented electric crossovers will join the upcoming XJ at Jaguar Land Rover’s historic Castle Bromwich assembly plant, Autocar reports. The UK plant, formerly home to wartime aircraft production, will pivot to EVs with the help of a $1.2 billion investment.

With Jag pulling the bulk of its volume from crossovers, the addition of a larger crossover is a no-brainer; meanwhile, Land Rover’s shadowy Road Rover is said to be a go — minus the name itself. That leaves the slow-selling XE and XF sedans as the big question marks in the brand’s future lineup. (Read More…)

By on February 7, 2020

Jaguar Land Rover has decided to stall production at two of its British factories for several weeks. Starting in late February, JLR intends to stop work at both its Castle Bromwich Assembly and Solihull plants until the end of March. The factories won’t be totally inactive for the duration; the manufacturer claims there will be half days intermixed with full-day closures.

Unlike the bulk of plant idlings taking place across the globe (though mostly in China), this has nothing to do with the coronavirus. While the outbreak has begun disrupting supply chains as the PRC attempts to keep the illness in check by barring people inside their homes, JLR said it’s stalling UK production to address falling demand and Brexit complications — the latter of which is beginning to feel like a lame excuse.  (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2020

Ralf Speth, the longtime CEO of Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), is stepping down. Parent company Tata Motors confirmed the move, saying Speth would continue serving as a non-executive vice chairman on the board holding company and advisor to JLR.

At 64, Speth is easing into retirement after having led the company for the last ten years. He’s scheduled to leave his post in September, having spent the brunt of his tenure expanding the company’s global footprint.

Natarajan Chandrasekaran, chairman of the Tata Sons holding company, said a search committee has been formed will work closely with him to identify a suitable successor in the coming months. But news of Speth’s prospective replacement followed closely after the retirement announcement.  (Read More…)

By on January 30, 2020

Image: JLR

As Jaguar Land Rover lunges forward with its “Project Charge” turnaround plan, things aren’t nearly as grim as they were a year ago. Which is exactly what the automaker’s parent, Tata Motors, wants to hear.

Despite a softening in global sales, the automaker made progress on many fronts, crediting its cost-cutting and product plan with a return to black ink. (Read More…)

By on December 10, 2019

Maybe Land Rover isn’t so removed from its former parent, after all. Whereas Ford saw the resurrection of the Bronco nameplate as an opportunity to butch up an Escape, Land Rover apparently sees the return of the storied Defender as an excuse to push its lineup downmarket.

No, not with the Defender itself — the range-topping SUV will only go upward in price, Autocar reports, but the opportunity lies in sprinkling some of its design magic over a new entry-level model. (Read More…)

By on October 22, 2019

Just over two years ago, a tentative product name discovered deep within Jaguar Land Rover’s internal communications captured the eye — and stimulated the fertile imaginations — of auto journos everywhere. “Road Rover” was a name JLR was using to describe a possible future vehicle; a year later, the automaker moved to trademark the name for safekeeping.

Since then, JLR has grappled with financial pain born of the decline of both diesel propulsion and the sedan bodystyle, choosing to fight market trends by shoring up its Land Rover division with new or updated utility vehicles, returning the Defender nameplate to the top of the line, and cutting build configurations of its Jaguar passenger cars. Parent company Tata Motors wants results, and it wants them in a hurry.

One thing not lost to the automaker’s evolving product strategy is Road Rover. There’s more news on that front. (Read More…)

By on October 1, 2019

Despite delivering what could be considered a desirable premium EV with the I-Pace, Jaguar Land Rover admits it’s not entirely sold on the idea of electric sport utility vehicles. Due to their size, SUVs and crossovers are inherently heavier than traditional sedans — placing them at odds with the goal of maximizing efficiency.

More mass means diminished range. While this can be offset by a manufacturer installing larger battery packs, that increases costs and ultimately adds more heft to the single heaviest component in an EV. Large electrics bring other issues to the engineering table, too.

“The larger the vehicle the larger the aero challenge. If you’re not careful you end up with such big batteries and you make the vehicles so heavy that as you race down the autobahn the range disappears,” Nick Rogers, JLR’s head of engineering, told media at the company’s revamped engineering and design center in Gaydon, England. (Read More…)

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