Land Rover North America, Inc. and its president and CEO, Charles Hughes, must decide on how to go about the product positioning for the new Land Rover Discovery. There are several factors they must consider, one of which is the role of the Discovery in relation to the other vehicles in the LRNA line. They must also put into consideration the brand's strengths and weaknesses, the competition, and the positioning of the Land Rover umbrella brand in the U.K.
Harvard Business Review (596036-PDF-ENG)
September 01, 1995
Case questions answered:
- What were the reasons for launching Land Rover North America Discovery?
- The motivation of people to buy the SUV category.
- Brand equity of Land Rover Umbrella brand.
- Distinct roles of the brands given.
- What are the positioning alternatives for the brand "Discovery"? Evaluate them.
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Land Rover North America, Inc. Case Answers
Land Rover North America, Inc. – Reasons for launching “Discovery”:
The mid-1980s was a tough time for Land Rover North America, Inc. because they were losing control over Third World markets due to the oil crises, constrained parts supply, and scant repair services that took their toll. At the same time “The Japanese Invasion” took control over Land Rover’s core markets. Thus, the company lost one-third of base model sales from 1983 to 1985.
The Japanese identified an opportunity in the 4X4 leisure sector, which was comprised of two distinct user segments.
The first segment was comprised of a group of young and childless adults who wanted vehicle unique and different.
The second segment was comprised of conservative buyers who wanted smart and functional vehicles with versatile and practical transportation solutions.
Thus, Discovery was launched to regain both the segments from Japanese.
Motivation to buy the category (SUV):
The major SUV purchase drivers are quality, safety, performance, off-road capability, aesthetics, comfort, convenience, service factors, economics, and status/image.
Product quality includes durability, manufacturer’s reputation, reliability, and workmanship.
Product performance includes acceleration, engine quality, transmission quality, ease of handling, and overall capacity.
Overall comfort/convenience includes interior roominess, seating capacity, technical innovations, and cargo capacity.
Off-road capability includes 4WD availability, perceived toughness, and handling off-road.
All these are the features of SUV which motivate consumers to buy the category.
The first segment was comprised of a group of young and childless adults who wanted their vehicle unique and different.
The second segment was comprised of…
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