There may have been plenty of skeptics when Indian car and truck manufacturer Tata purchased Land Rover from Ford, but it seems the parent company's investment is one of the best things to have happened to the brand. British automotive media outlet Autocar reports that Land Rover design director Gerry McGovern says the division plans a massive, three-pronged product strategy that will focus on the luxury, leisure, and utility niches in the SUV market. The topline Range Rover brand will add a few more models, there will be a new Defender family of vehicles, and the Freelander range will massively grow, and possibly subsume the current Discovery as that sub-brand's flagship.
Among the new models that will come out of this product development will be an Evoque XL model designed to bridge the gap between the current Evoque and Range Rover Sport, and a production version of the Evoque convertible that has been previously announced. The "leisure" line will have the most growth, with the Freelander adding a three-row, seven-passenger version, and a new Discovery model, possibly employing the aluminum body structure of the Range Rover, positioned as a competitor to the BMW X5.
Finally, the Defender will return in five- and seven-passenger versions, as well as a crew cab pickup variant. As part of the product expansion plan, Jaguar Land Rover will make significant investments in both its U.K. and overseas production facilities, with the company's joint venture with Chinese automaker Chery receiving unexpectedly fast approval from the Chinese government for a new plant with a capacity of up to 130,000 vehicles.