A voyage of Discovery
15 February 2017
Author: Nat Barnes
The all-new Land Rover Discovery is a very big deal indeed for the company, but it's always been something of a niche product for fleets.
Will the new model change all that? Nat Barnes talks to Rachael Thompson, Jaguar Land Rover sales director to find out
Q: How important will the fleet market be to the success of the new Discovery and do you expect that to grow?
A: I can't quote our specific volume plans, but the Fleet & Business market is incredibly important to Jaguar Land Rover UK and the Discovery is a key part of our strategy. Now available with the 2.0-litre Ingenium engine and a lightweight, all-aluminium architecture contributing to better economy, we anticipate an increase in volume to match the increase in appeal.
Q: What has traditionally been the typical business driver profile of the Discovery and will that buyer change with this new model?
A: We are privileged to work across multiple sectors and have a wide variety of customers and users; from military and diplomatic to energy and agricultural, to property and financial services. The new Discovery does everything the outgoing model does - and more. A genuine seven-seater SUV with the economy of a road car, we anticipate a broadening of our customer-base rather than a shift or change in customer.
Q: Clearly the interior has a much more premium feel compared to before, do you think this will help to attract more higher-end business customers/user-choosers?
A: Yes the new Discovery does have a premium feel, as did its predecessor. What's interesting about Discovery and Discovery Sport, is the clever application of premium materials throughout the interior.
Durable materials are used at low level to give heavier-wear areas more robustness and can be practically maintained; whilst the more premium trim materials are positioned at a higher level within the cabin so that the frequently used touch points have that premium finish. Again, we see the new Discovery as broadening our customer base, not shifting it.
Q: What impact do you expect the new 2.0-litre diesel engine to have on the new Discovery's appeal to fleets and what do you expect fleet uptake to be of that version?
A: The introduction of the award-winning 2.0-litre twin-turbo Sd4 Ingenium four-cylinder diesel is a real move forward in efficiency and we expect the majority of our fleet and business customers will select this variant.
The 2.0-litre delivers comparable performance with the outgoing Discovery 3.0-litre V6 diesel yet offers the competitive running costs associated with the Ingenium family. This engine produces 240hp with 500Nm of torque and CO2 emissions from 171g/km.
Q: Are the maintenance costs and costs per mile significantly lower with the new Discovery compared to its predecessor?
A: The Service Maintenance and Repair Costs for the 2.0-litre variant start at £1,813 per annum and cost per mile rate are from 147.35ppm [figures from KWIKcarcost]. Those SMR costs are down 8% and the CPM is 0.49p cheaper than the outgoing Discovery.
Q: Do you yet have residual value predictions for the new Discovery?
A: We now have confirmed data that illustrates that the new Discovery achieves up to 53 per cent Residual Value based on 36 months and 10,000 miles p.a. [KWIKcarcost].
Q: Are you planning any handovers or workshops for fleet managers to run through the numerous driver assistance systems and technology on the new car?
A: Yes, we have 56 Fleet and Business specialists across 88 retailers nationwide. Training for our retail and Fleet and Business teams will cover everything from market position, product line-up and practical training on all our new systems, including Advanced Tow Assist, which is a real benefit for users who regularly tow as it takes the pain out of tricky maneuvers.