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'We're selling every single car we can get!' Land Rover not fazed by hybrid rivals eating its lunch or Volvo going electric by 2026 in Australia

Land Rover doesn't have time to care what rivals are doing as it's selling every single Range Rover that lands in the country.

Land Rover is currently in the process of launching its most significant new-generation models to market in Australia, the Range Rover Sport and full-size Range Rover, but one thing still missing from the picture is the brand’s first fully electric model.

Not only do its German rivals, BMW and Mercedes-Benz already each have a range of fully electric vehicles on sale in Australia, but Volvo has notably jumped out of the luxury car crowd by announcing it will go all-electric early in Australia.

Speaking to CarsGuide at the local unveiling of the new Range Rover Sport, which will initially arrive in straight-six petrol and diesel forms, Land Rover's Australian communications boss, James Scrimshaw, said the British marque’s local division was not fazed by the major electric changes in its competitor lineups.

“It doesn’t affect our strategy. Land Rover has announced there will be re-imagined electric variants of all its products by 2030, the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport will have electric variants by 2024, and Jaguar will be all-EV from 2025. We haven’t revealed those cars yet, but you will see them in due time,” he said.

The Range Rover Sport, which currently starts from $139,160 before on-road costs for a base D250 SE sits on Land Rover’s latest MLA platform shared with the full-size Range Rover. The fully electric version is expected to be revealed imminently, and could be on sale in Australia by 2024.

Meanwhile, a plug-in hybrid version with an unusually long 125km driving range on a single charge is expected to arrive before the end of 2023. While all variants can be ordered now, CarsGuide understands that aside from an initial shipment of petrol straight-six models, the stock arriving for the majority of 2023 will be diesel only.

“We take more diesel than other markets, and Range Rover Sport has always sold a high percentage in diesel in Australia, so we’re not worried about the stock coming in,” Mr Scrimshaw said.

Diesel is said to remain popular for Range Rover models in Australia.

He added that it was “too early to tell” whether customer demand would be driven toward the plug-in hybrid variants in the range, as only a limited number of Range Rover Evoques had arrived in the country in hybrid form. Although early orders for cars like the Range Rover Sport tended to head toward highly-specified Autobiography and First Editions in the first year of sale.

And no, diesel isn’t going to exit the Land Rover line-up any time soon, as it has done for many of its notable rivals, according to Mr Scrimshaw.

“We’ll still continue with diesel,” he said. “We still want to offer customers that alternative, it will suit some markets better than others, but we’re excited to see it here in Australia.”

Is the brand worried about increased competition to the Range Rover line-up, particularly at the large SUV end with cars like the Audi Q8, BMW X7, and Mercedes-Benz GLS? It’s a resounding “no”, according to Mr Scrimshaw.

“We market our products on their own strengths and don’t worry about the competition. Range Rover in particular has a high percentage of buyers who will only consider a Range Rover and won’t cross shop at all between other products,” he said.

Mr Scrimshaw said it was too early to tell if the incoming PHEV models would be in unusually high demand.

Nor is the brand concerned about the amount of competition in the hybrid space, particularly from the likes of Lexus.

“We keep an eye on the market, and if we had stock sitting around, we might start to think about that, but right now we’re selling every single car we can get into the country - there just isn’t the stock sitting around which people can shop between,” he said.

The Range Rover Sport can be ordered now, but delivery time will depend on variant and individual dealers.

Tom White
Senior Journalist
Despite studying ancient history and law at university, it makes sense Tom ended up writing about cars, as he spent the majority of his waking hours finding ways to drive as many as possible. His fascination with automobiles was also accompanied by an affinity for technology growing up, and he is just as comfortable tinkering with gadgets as he is behind the wheel. His time at CarsGuide has given him a nose for industry news and developments at the forefront of car technology.
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