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Land Rover pushes Freelander upmarket

Date: 10 November 2006   |   Author: Tristan Young

Land Rover is attempting to push the new Freelander upmarket and isn't afraid of losing some customers who bought the previous generation model, according to MD John Edwards.

Land Rover already has 1000 orders for the new car, which goes on sale in the UK on December 7.

The brand is cleverly pushing buyers into the more expensive models by only making the higher trim levels available from launch. The entry-level 'S' cars, with a start price of £20,935, will not be available until March next year. Until then, buyers can only get their hands on the GS, XS, SE and HSE models. The prices for the diesels at these trim levels range from £23,435 to £30,935.

Land Rover expects to retain a proportion of customers from the first Freelander, but is also looking for user-choosers moving out of BMW X3s and premium saloons. It also hopes to pick up some people who ran previous generation Discoverys but could not afford the latest Discovery 3.

"With the previous Freelander, in the best sales year we saw about 24,000 cars sold in the UK," said Edwards (pictured above). "And that included the three-door car. We'll get well within 75-80% of that figure with the Freelander 2."

As part of this move the number of cars supplied to large fleets has gone down, said Edwards, who added: "But the number supplied as business cars has gone up. We'll get more business users with Freelander."