Land Rover thinks its Special Vehicle Operations will crush third party tuning companies.
Independent tuning specialists such as Overfinch, Kahn Design, and Arden have been cashing in on the popularity of Land Rovers and modifying them with aftermarket parts and performance upgrades to make a profit. Turns out Land Rover isn’t very happy about this. In an interview with Autocar, Land Rover’s design director Gerry McGovern is determined to put these tuning companies out of business by offering high quality variants of some of its models as part of its in-house Special Vehicle Operations.
“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,” he said. “We see them taking our property and making a bit more profit.” The Range Rover is particularly popular with tuning companies, so it seems likely that the new Velar won’t be able to escape the attention of tuners. No doubt some are already dreaming up ways to make the Velar’s clean design more aggressive. However, McGovern believes the quality of Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations will deter customers looking to personalize their Land Rover turning to third-party tuning companies.
“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. It’s a bold statement, but we can’t see this strategy working, somehow. As much as Land Rover tries to deny it, some buyers see Range Rovers as a fashion statement - they want their ride to look outlandish and attract as much attention as possible. The focus on quality means that Land Rover’s SVO will most likely cater to its customers with more refined tastes, so we imagine there will still be demand for third-party tuning companies that can offer something unique, albeit polarizing.