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JLR's recent brand reshuffling saw the British company introduce a new "House of Brands" strategy, in which the Discovery, Defender, and Range Rover lineups split off into separate brands, freed from the grasp of the storied Land Rover nameplate. While this plan should work well with the Range Rover and Defender lines, which both have plenty of brand equity with buyers, things get challenging for the Discovery, which has long been dwindling in search of a clear direction.




"There’s no hiding: Discovery isn’t performing to the same level as the other two [Range Rover and Defender]," said JLR CEO Adrian Mardell, during a recent interview with Autocar. The Discovery lineup, which currently consists of the three-row Land Rover Discovery and its smaller Discovery Sport sibling, has been hitting the rock bottom of JLR's sales charts in recent years. The Discovery saw just 12,000 units moved in the 12 months that led up to March 2023, while the Defender sold as many as 75,000 units in that same period.


In an effort to raise those numbers, JLR is actively working on a clear path for the Discovery brand. "Of the four brands, it's the one that, in terms of its future state, there's the most work to do [on] internally," he said. "But that's massively exciting because, certainly in our view, it's got enormous potential to grow." Mardell says that path is far from being finalized, but we should see the finished plan around a year from now, ideally in the first quarter of 2024.



As for the reason behind the Discovery brand's decline, it has likely stemmed from years of neglect resulting from the brand shifting its focus to the Range Rover and Defender lineups. But with those product lines now fully figured out, this leaves JLR more time to give the Discovery brand the attention it's been longing for. "What we're going through now is understanding how we reimagine the Discovery brand. What space will it fill? How does it fill a space that's unique to the other brands? That is the kind of internal work that we're going through now in terms of that assessment." Mardell continued that people within the company are already being moved to the Discovery house, in an attempt to direct more effort into the Discovery's future.




Repositioning the Discovery brand is tricky when the luxury space is already occupied by the Range Rover brand, while buyers looking for something more rugged can already pick up the keys to the Defender. While previous reports have suggested a "family brand" business model, it's worth noting that the Discovery has lost many of its key selling points in recent years. The most notable example would be its third row, as the option has since expanded to models from both the Range Rover and Defender lineups, leaving the Discovery without much distinction. The overlap continues with the smaller Discovery Sport, which is similar in size to the Range Rover Velar and Evoque, but doesn't offer many advantages over them.


While the Discovery's place under JLR's reshuffled umbrella certainly presents challenges for the company, Mardell appears confident in the SUV's survival as a brand. As for exactly when the brand will lay out its plans to reshape itself, we should find out sometime next year.


Where do you think the Discovery brand should be positioned?

Image Credits: Land Rover
Report
Aug 25, 2023
 •

JLR Boss Admits That Reinventing Discovery As A Separate Brand Won't Be Easy

The future of the Discovery will be revealed within the next year.

JLR's recent brand reshuffling saw the British company introduce a new "House of Brands" strategy, in which the Discovery, Defender, and Range Rover lineups split off into separate brands, freed from the grasp of the storied Land Rover nameplate. While this plan should work well with the Range Rover and Defender lines, which both have plenty of brand equity with buyers, things get challenging for the Discovery, which has long been dwindling in search of a clear direction.




"There’s no hiding: Discovery isn’t performing to the same level as the other two [Range Rover and Defender]," said JLR CEO Adrian Mardell, during a recent interview with Autocar. The Discovery lineup, which currently consists of the three-row Land Rover Discovery and its smaller Discovery Sport sibling, has been hitting the rock bottom of JLR's sales charts in recent years. The Discovery saw just 12,000 units moved in the 12 months that led up to March 2023, while the Defender sold as many as 75,000 units in that same period.


In an effort to raise those numbers, JLR is actively working on a clear path for the Discovery brand. "Of the four brands, it's the one that, in terms of its future state, there's the most work to do [on] internally," he said. "But that's massively exciting because, certainly in our view, it's got enormous potential to grow." Mardell says that path is far from being finalized, but we should see the finished plan around a year from now, ideally in the first quarter of 2024.



As for the reason behind the Discovery brand's decline, it has likely stemmed from years of neglect resulting from the brand shifting its focus to the Range Rover and Defender lineups. But with those product lines now fully figured out, this leaves JLR more time to give the Discovery brand the attention it's been longing for. "What we're going through now is understanding how we reimagine the Discovery brand. What space will it fill? How does it fill a space that's unique to the other brands? That is the kind of internal work that we're going through now in terms of that assessment." Mardell continued that people within the company are already being moved to the Discovery house, in an attempt to direct more effort into the Discovery's future.




Repositioning the Discovery brand is tricky when the luxury space is already occupied by the Range Rover brand, while buyers looking for something more rugged can already pick up the keys to the Defender. While previous reports have suggested a "family brand" business model, it's worth noting that the Discovery has lost many of its key selling points in recent years. The most notable example would be its third row, as the option has since expanded to models from both the Range Rover and Defender lineups, leaving the Discovery without much distinction. The overlap continues with the smaller Discovery Sport, which is similar in size to the Range Rover Velar and Evoque, but doesn't offer many advantages over them.


While the Discovery's place under JLR's reshuffled umbrella certainly presents challenges for the company, Mardell appears confident in the SUV's survival as a brand. As for exactly when the brand will lay out its plans to reshape itself, we should find out sometime next year.


Where do you think the Discovery brand should be positioned?

Image Credits: Land Rover

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JLR Boss Admits That Reinventing Discovery As A Separate Brand Won't Be Easy

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